Fosrenol

1 What is Fosrenol?

Brand: Fosrenol

Generic: Lanthanum

Fosrenol is a drug used to lower the phosphate levels in patients with hyperphosphatemia (high levels of phosphate in blood), especially in patients with end stage kidney failure who are on regular dialysis.

It is available in two dosage forms: tablets and powder. Lanthanum is only available on a doctor’s prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Fosrenol, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

Every medicine has potential side effects. So, the benefits of a drug should always be weighed against its associated risks. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the drug and will inform you about them. Following factors should be considered before taking lanthanum:

  • Allergies: If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.
  • Age specific problems: The data regarding the effects of lanthanum specific to the pediatric age group is not yet available. However no significant problems were found in the studies specific to the geriatric age group.
  • Drug Interactions: Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand certain drugs are allowed to be used together. So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug. You should also tell you doctor about any preexisting medical condition you may have. Lanthanum is known to cause significant drug interaction with some drugs. Using lanthanum with any of the following drugs may increase the risk of certain side effects.

Let your doctor know if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • Balofloxacin
  • Ciprofloxacin Besifloxacin Flumequine Enoxacin Gatifloxacin Gemifloxacin Levothyroxine Levofloxacin Lomefloxacin Nadifloxacin Moxifloxacin Norfloxacin Sparfloxacin Ofloxacin Pazufloxacin Prulifloxacin Pefloxacin Rufloxacin

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco. 

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from. Especially inform the doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions: Intestinal obstruction (e.g. ileus) or fecal impaction (blockage of the intestine).

Tell your doctor if you have a history of bowel or stomach surgery, colorectal cancer, constipation, diabetes, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or peptic ulcer disease. In patients with these conditions, the use of lanthanum should either be avoided or it should be used carefully.

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3 Proper Usage

To avoid adverse effects, Fosrenol should be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not overuse or misuse this drug and do not use it longer than the recommended time. Read all the instructions mentioned in the medication guide.

This medicine should be taken with food in order to enhance its absorption in the gut. Crush or chew the tablet in your mouth before usage. Do not swallow the whole tablet.

The oral powder form can be used after sprinkling it on applesauce or any other food of same type. Mix the drug and take it instantly. Avoid mixing it with water or any other liquid. Follow the diet plan advised by your doctor. If you are on any other medication besides lanthanum, take it at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking lanthanum. Ask your healthcare professional if there’s any query about the best timing of medication.

Do not miss any dose. The dose of this drug varies according to the condition of each person. The number of doses per day, the time interval between the doses and the length of time you have to take the medicine depends on your condition individually and all these factors should only be determined by your healthcare provider. Follow each and every instruction of your doctor and also read the label carefully.

In case you miss one dose of this drug, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your subsequent dose, you can then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

Storage: This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Fosrenol, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Regular follow-up is necessary during and after the treatment because this medicine is usually taken for a long time period. It is important to allow your doctor to monitor your progress and to make sure that there aren't any side effects from the medication.

Contact your doctor if your symptoms have not improved even after taking the full course of treatment. The doctor may order some blood tests in order to determine the blood levels of the drug. This drug may alter the results of certain medical tests like x-ray of abdomen.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Fosrenol. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

Lanthanum is associated with following side effects:

  • bone pain
  • convulsions
  • constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • itching skin or rash
  • trouble breathing
  • tiredness or weakness

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms while on lanthanum. Also contact your healthcare professional immediately, if have overdosed on this drug. Symptoms of overdose include headache, nausea and vomiting.

There are some other side effects of lanthanum which may not require emergency medical help and might go away on their own as soon as your body adjusts to the drug. These include

If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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