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Sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Rectal route)

Pronunciation:

SOE-dee-um pol-ee-STYE-reen SUL-foe-nate

Dosage Forms:

  • Enema

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Exchange Resin

Uses of This Medicine:

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is used to treat high levels of potassium in the blood, also called hyperkalemia.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of sodium polystyrene sulfonate in the pediatric population. However, pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of this medicine in children are not expected.

This medicine should be used with caution in newborn infants who have reduced or slow bowel movements.

Older adults—

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of sodium polystyrene sulfonate in geriatric patients.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Sorbitol

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Levothyroxine

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bowel blockage or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Congestive heart failure, severe or
  • Edema (fluid retention) or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., arrhythmia, QT prolongation) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure), severe or
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood) or
  • Stomach or bowel problems (e.g., bleeding, colitis, constipation, perforation)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is given as a rectal enema.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check you closely to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: confusion, dry mouth, increased thirst, irregular heartbeat, irritability, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, or shortness of breath.

If you are taking aluminum or magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives, tell your doctor before using sodium polystyrene sulfonate. These medicines may keep sodium polystyrene sulfonate from working properly and may cause serious side effects.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
Bloody vomit
chest pain
cough
cough producing mucus
difficulty with breathing
fever or chills
severe stomach pain
shortness of breath
sneezing
sore throat
tightness in the chest
troubled breathing
wheezing
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
confusion
constipation
convulsions
decrease in the amount of urine
diarrhea
dry mouth
increased thirst
irregular heartbeats
loss of appetite
muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
nausea or vomiting
noisy, rattling breathing
numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
severe constipation
swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
tremor
troubled breathing at rest
unusual tiredness or weakness
weight gain
weight loss

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose
Dizziness
drowsiness
fainting
fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
lightheadedness
muscle cramps
muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching
pounding or rapid pulse
seizures
trembling

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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