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Generic Name: Sodium Phosphates Tablets (SOE dee um FOS fates)
Brand Name: OsmoPrep, Visicol

Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018


  • Very bad kidney problems have rarely happened with Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets). Sometimes, this has been long-lasting and some people have needed long-term dialysis. Most of the time, these kidney problems happen within a few days. Sometimes, kidney problems may happen a few months after starting Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets). Kidney problems can happen in anyone taking Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) but the chance of kidney problems may be higher in older people or people with low blood volume, slow movement through the bowels, bowel block, colitis, or kidney disease. Talk with your doctor.
  • The chance of kidney problems may be higher if you are taking any drugs that can affect kidney function. There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
  • Follow how to take Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) as you have been told by your doctor. Do not use more than you were told to use.

Uses of Visicol:

See also: Amitiza
  • It is used as a laxative to clean out the colon before an exam.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Visicol?

  • If you have an allergy to sodium phosphates or any other part of Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have heart failure (weak heart).
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you are using another drug that has the same drug in it.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Bowel block, hole in the bowel, or other bowel problems; electrolyte (like sodium, potassium, phosphate) problems; fluid loss (dehydrated); or had stomach or bowel surgery.
  • If you are on a low-salt or salt-free diet.
  • If you have taken Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) within the past 7 days.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Visicol?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not use other laxatives or stool softeners unless told to do so by the doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor about drinking lots of fluids and other ways to prevent fluid loss. If you have a lot of fluid loss, you may have more side effects from Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets).
  • Tell your doctor if you have too much sweat, fluid loss, throwing up, loose stools (diarrhea), not hungry, or more thirst.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Visicol) best taken?

Use Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) as your doctor has told you. Follow all instructions you have been given closely. This includes when to take Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets), foods and drinks to avoid before the exam, and when to stop eating and drinking before the exam. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Drink clear liquids before, during, and after taking Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets). Do not drink any liquids that are purple or red.
  • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids before, during, and after using Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) unless you are told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
  • Do not take other drugs within 1 hour of Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets).

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you are using Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) before an exam, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of fluid and electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad dizziness or passing out, fast heartbeat, more thirst, seizures, feeling very tired or weak, not hungry, unable to pass urine or change in the amount of urine produced, dry mouth, dry eyes, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • Very bad belly cramping or bloating.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.

What are some other side effects of Visicol?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Bloating.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Visicol?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets) is refilled. If you have any questions about Visicol (sodium phosphates tablets), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.