Sodium cellulose phosphate (Oral)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 12, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Uses for sodium cellulose phosphate
Cellulose sodium phosphate is used to prevent the formation of calcium-containing kidney stones. It is used in patients whose bodies absorb too much calcium from their food.
Cellulose sodium phosphate works by combining with the calcium and some other minerals in food. This prevents the calcium from reaching the kidneys where the stones are formed.
Cellulose sodium phosphate is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using sodium cellulose phosphate
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 sodium cellulose phosphate, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to sodium cellulose phosphate 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.
Although there is no specific information comparing use of cellulose sodium phosphate in children with use in any other age group, its use is not recommended in children up to 16 years of age because of the increased need for calcium in growing children.
Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of cellulose sodium phosphate in the elderly with use in other age groups.
Interactions with 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. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
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 sodium cellulose phosphate. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Bone disease—Cellulose sodium phosphate may make the condition worse
- Edema or swelling or
- Heart disease—The high sodium content of cellulose sodium phosphate may cause the body to hold water
- Intestinal problems or
- Parathyroid disease or problems—Cellulose sodium phosphate may increase the risk of bone problems
Proper use of sodium cellulose phosphate
Make certain your health care professional knows if you are on any special diet, such as a low-sodium or low-sugar diet. Also tell your health care professional if your diet contains large amounts of milk or other dairy products, spinach (or other dark green leafy vegetables), chocolate, brewed tea, or rhubarb or if you are taking vitamin C or magnesium supplements.
Take sodium cellulose phosphate mixed in a full glass (8 ounces) of water, soft drink, or fruit juice. After drinking all the liquid containing the medicine, rinse the glass with a little more liquid. Drink that also to make sure you get all the medicine.
It is very important that you take cellulose sodium phosphate with meals. If sodium cellulose phosphate is taken an hour or more after a meal, it will not work properly.
Take cellulose sodium phosphate only as directed. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.
Drink at least a full glass (8 ounces) of water, a soft drink, or fruit juice every hour while you are awake, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. This also will help prevent kidney stones while you are taking cellulose sodium phosphate.
The dose of sodium cellulose phosphate will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of sodium cellulose phosphate. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- To prevent kidney stones:
- Adults: At first, 10 to 15 grams a day (3.3 to 5 grams three times a day with meals). Then, your doctor may reduce your dose.
- Children: Use is not recommended.
If you miss a dose of sodium cellulose phosphate, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions while using sodium cellulose phosphate
It is important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This is to make sure cellulose sodium phosphate is working properly and does not cause unwanted effects.
If you are taking a magnesium supplement, take it at least one hour before or after you take cellulose sodium phosphate. Otherwise, the magnesium may combine with sodium cellulose phosphate and keep it from working properly.
Do not take vitamin C, or eat spinach (or other dark green leafy vegetables), chocolate, brewed tea, or rhubarb while you are taking cellulose sodium phosphate. They may increase the chance of kidney stones.
Do not drink milk or eat milk products (for example, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt) while you are taking sodium cellulose phosphate, because dairy products are high in calcium. Drinking milk or eating milk products may keep cellulose sodium phosphate from working properly.
While you are taking cellulose sodium phosphate, do not eat salty foods or use extra salt on foods. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.
For patients on a low-sodium diet:
- Sodium cellulose phosphate contains sodium. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
Sodium cellulose phosphate side effects
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 as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
With long-term use
- Convulsions (seizures)
- loss of appetite
- mood or mental changes
- muscle spasms or twitching
- nausea or vomiting
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Abdominal or stomach discomfort
- loose bowel movements or diarrhea
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.
More about cellulose sodium phosphate
- Other brands
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.