- What other names is Phosphate Salts known by?
- What is Phosphate Salts?
- How does Phosphate Salts work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Phosphate Salts.
People use phosphate salts for medicine. Be careful not to confuse phosphate salts with substances such as organophosphates, or with tribasic sodium phosphates and tribasic potassium phosphates, which are very poisonous.
Phosphate salts are taken by mouth for treating blood phosphate levels that are too low and blood calcium levels that are too high, and for preventing kidney stones. They are also taken for treating osteomalacia (often called "rickets" in children), a condition caused by a mineral imbalance in the body that leads to softening of the bones. Phosphate salts are also used for improving exercise performance, as an antacid for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and as a laxative for emptying the bowels before surgery.
Phosphate salts and calcium are applied to sensitive teeth to reduce pain.
Rectally, phosphate salts are used as a laxative to clean the bowels before surgery or intestinal tests.
Healthcare providers sometimes give potassium phosphate intravenously (by IV) for treating low phosphate and high calcium levels in the blood, and for preventing low phosphate in patients who are being tube-fed.
- Preparing the bowel for a medical procedure. Sodium phosphate tablets (OsmoPrep, Visicol, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Raleigh, NC) are FDA-approved for cleansing the colon before a colonoscopy. Over-the-counter sodium phosphate solutions and enemas may also be used for bowel cleansing before medical procedures.
- Low phosphate levels in the blood. Taking sodium or potassium phosphate by mouth is effective for preventing or treating low phosphate levels in the blood. Intravenous phosphate salts may also treat low phosphate levels in the blood when used under the supervision of a physician.
Likely Effective for...
- Constipation. Sodium phosphate is an FDA-permitted over-the-counter (OTC) ingredient for the treatment of constipation. These products are taken by mouth or used as enemas.
- Indigestion. Aluminum phosphate and calcium phosphate are FDA-permitted ingredients used in antacids.
- High calcium levels in the blood. Taking phosphate salt (except calcium phosphate) by mouth is likely effective for treating high levels of calcium in the blood. But intravenous phosphate salts should not be used.
Possibly Effective for...
- Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). Taking potassium phosphate by mouth might help prevent calcium kidney stones from forming in patients with high urine levels of calcium.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Athletic performance. Some early research suggests that taking sodium phosphate by mouth four times daily for 6 days might increase athletic performance in male cyclists. However, most evidence shows that taking phosphate salts by mouth does not improve exercise performance.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Diabetes complication (diabetic ketoacidosis). Early research suggests that taking potassium phosphate intravenously (by IV) does not improve a diabetes complication in which the body produces too many blood acids called ketones. People with this condition should only be given phosphates if they have low phosphate levels.
- Complications that occur upon eating in people who were previously starving (refeeding syndrome). Limited research shows that giving sodium and potassium phosphates intravenously (by IV) over 24 hours prevents refeeding syndrome when restarting nutrition in people who are severely malnourished or starved.
- Sensitive teeth.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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