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Fosrenol (Generic Lanthanum)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Fosrenol is prescribed primarily for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who are undergoing dialysis. It is used to lower phosphate levels in the blood, which can rise to dangerous levels in individuals with kidney failure. High levels of phosphate can lead to complications such as bone disease, heart problems, and other serious conditions.

Fosrenol works by binding to phosphate in the food you eat, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. This helps to reduce the overall phosphate levels in the body.

How should this medicine be used?

Fosrenol is typically taken orally as chewable tablets and should be taken with meals or immediately after eating. The dosage is usually individualized based on the patient’s serum phosphate level and response to treatment. It’s essential to follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Here are some general guidelines for taking Fosrenol:

  • Take Fosrenol exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Chew the tablets thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Take Fosrenol with meals or within 30 minutes after eating.
  • Do not crush or break the tablets before taking them.
  • Drink plenty of water while taking Fosrenol to help prevent dehydration.

It’s crucial to adhere to your prescribed dosage and follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your phosphate levels and adjust your treatment as needed. Additionally, inform your doctor about any other medications or supplements you are taking, as they may interact with Fosrenol.

Other uses for this medicine

Some potential off-label uses for Fosrenol may include:

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): In some cases, Fosrenol may be used to manage high phosphate levels in patients with chronic kidney disease who are not yet on dialysis.
  • Hyperphosphatemia in other conditions: Fosrenol might be considered for patients with hyperphosphatemia (high phosphate levels) due to conditions other than ESRD, although its efficacy and safety in these populations may not be well-established.

What special precautions should I follow?

As for special precautions when using Fosrenol, here are some important considerations:

  • Kidney Function: Fosrenol is primarily excreted by the kidneys. Patients with impaired kidney function may require dose adjustments, and Fosrenol should be used with caution in these individuals.
  • Phosphate Levels: Regular monitoring of serum phosphate levels is essential to ensure that Fosrenol is effectively managing hyperphosphatemia without causing phosphate levels to drop too low, which can also be harmful.
  • Drug Interactions: Fosrenol may interact with other medications, such as antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin), thyroid hormones, and certain seizure medications. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and over-the-counter drugs you are taking before starting Fosrenol.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Fosrenol may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. If these symptoms are severe or persistent, inform your doctor.
  • Calcium Levels: Since Fosrenol can bind to dietary calcium, there is a potential risk of hypocalcemia (low calcium levels). Your healthcare provider may monitor your calcium levels regularly and adjust your treatment as needed.
  • Allergic Reactions: If you have a known allergy to lanthanum carbonate or any other ingredients in Fosrenol, inform your healthcare provider before starting treatment.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and consult them if you have any questions or concerns about taking Fosrenol.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • Follow a phosphate-restricted diet as recommended by your healthcare provider or dietitian. Avoid foods high in phosphorus such as dairy products, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and certain processed foods.
  • Take Fosrenol with meals or immediately after eating to maximize its effectiveness in binding dietary phosphate.
  • Maintain adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water, which can help prevent dehydration and improve the efficacy of Fosrenol.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • If you forget to take a dose of Fosrenol, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one, as this can increase the risk of side effects.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Fosrenol (lanthanum carbonate) can cause various side effects, although not all individuals may experience them. Common side effects of Fosrenol may include:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, flatulence, and dyspepsia (indigestion) are common gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Hypocalcemia: Fosrenol can bind to dietary calcium, potentially leading to low levels of calcium in the blood, which may cause symptoms such as muscle cramps, twitching, numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes, and in severe cases, seizures.
  • Hypercalcemia: While less common, elevated levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) may occur in some individuals taking Fosrenol. Symptoms of hypercalcemia may include excessive thirst, frequent urination, confusion, lethargy, and muscle weakness.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Fosrenol, which can manifest as rash, itching, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, difficulty breathing, or severe dizziness.
  • Phosphate Depletion: Excessive lowering of phosphate levels in the blood (hypophosphatemia) may occur with Fosrenol use, which can lead to symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, bone pain, and fractures.
  • Other Side Effects: Additional side effects that have been reported with Fosrenol include headache, dizziness, insomnia, abnormal liver function tests, and skin reactions such as eczema or dermatitis.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and other side effects may occur. If you experience any persistent or bothersome side effects while taking Fosrenol, contact your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance. Additionally, if you experience severe or life-threatening symptoms such as difficulty breathing or severe allergic reactions, seek immediate medical attention.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal of Fosrenol:

  • Storage:
    • Store Fosrenol tablets at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
    • Keep the medication in its original container with the lid tightly closed.
    • Store Fosrenol out of reach of children and pets.
    • Do not use Fosrenol if it has expired or if the tablets appear discolored or damaged.
  • Disposal:
    • Dispose of unused or expired Fosrenol tablets properly according to local regulations or guidelines.
    • Do not flush Fosrenol down the toilet or pour it into a drain unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
    • You can ask your pharmacist for information on how to safely dispose of Fosrenol.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • In case of an overdose of Fosrenol, seek emergency medical attention or contact your local poison control center immediately.
  • Symptoms of an overdose may include severe gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), hypocalcemia (low calcium levels), and other adverse effects.

What other information should I know?

  • Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements, as they may interact with Fosrenol.
  • Attend all scheduled appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring of your condition and response to Fosrenol therapy.
  • Follow all dietary instructions provided by your healthcare provider or dietitian, including maintaining a phosphate-restricted diet.
  • Keep Fosrenol tablets away from moisture and avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about Fosrenol, its usage, side effects, or storage, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

It’s important to follow these guidelines to ensure the safe and effective use of Fosrenol and to minimize the risk of adverse effects or complications.

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