Active Ingredients

Sodium monohydrogen phosphate – effect, application & risks

Sodium monohydrogen phosphate

Sodium monohydrogen phosphate is one of the laxatives . It is usually used together with sodium dihydrogen phosphate.

What is sodium monohydrogen phosphate?

Sodium monohydrogen phosphate is also called sodium monohydrogen phosphate . To treat constipation, the active ingredient is administered together with sodium dihydrogen phosphate, also known as sodium dihydrogen phosphate. The agent is a salt of ions that is odorless and colorless. Together, sodium monohydrogen phosphate and sodium dihydrogen phosphate form an efficient component of laxatives. Laxatives are given when lifestyle changes are not effective in treating constipation.

Sodium monohydrogen phosphate has the property of softening the stool and thus facilitating the complete emptying of the intestine . The combination preparation is usually offered under the name sodium dihydrogen phosphate + sodium monohydrogen phosphate. The drug is available in pharmacies as an enema (enema liquid).

Pharmacological action

Like sodium dihydrogen phosphate, sodium monohydrogen phosphate is one of the saline laxatives. This means that these substances increase the water content of the stool. The laxative is usually administered as a solution that the patient introduces into the rectum via his anus . However, it can also be taken orally in liquid form.

If the sodium monohydrogen phosphate and sodium dihydrogen phosphate get to the hardened stool, they penetrate it and bind the water it contains. In this way, softening of the feces is possible, which in turn makes it easier to pass stool .

The urge to defecate is caused by the increase in the volume of the stool. In most cases, the active ingredient is able to ensure complete emptying of the bowel. This can also be extremely important for medical examinations of the intestine or surgical interventions on the organ. The effect of the sodium monohydrogen phosphate sets in after about 5 to 10 minutes. Therefore, staying close to the toilet is recommended.

Medical Application & Use

Sodium monohydrogen phosphate is used in combination with sodium dihydrogen phosphate to treat constipation, the causes of which can vary. Another area of ​​application is medical examinations or operations on the intestines, which require the digestive organ to be completely emptied before they can be carried out. The laxative can also be used during childbirth .

Risks & side effects

Similar to other laxatives, undesirable side effects are also conceivable when taking sodium monohydrogen phosphate in combination with sodium dihydrogen phosphate. These side effects do not necessarily occur in every patient. The reactions to medicinal substances vary greatly from person to person.

In young children, there is a risk of electrolyte imbalances when taking sodium monohydrogen phosphate . This increases either the phosphate concentration in the blood or the concentration of sodium in the child’s blood. Electrolyte imbalances sometimes result in further damaging effects. These include increased excitation of nerves and muscles and cardiac arrhythmia .

If a patient already has previous kidney damage , acute kidney failure is possible. For this reason, sodium monohydrogen phosphate may only be administered if there is no other phosphate-free laxative available.

Sodium monohydrogen phosphate should not be taken at all if the patient suffers from kidney dysfunction, inflammation of the peritoneum (peritonitis), bleeding in the gastrointestinal region or appendicitis . Other contraindications are the chronic inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis , changes in the colon , unknown gastrointestinal complaints , and nausea and vomiting .

The active ingredient combination sodium monohydrogen phosphate + sodium dihydrogen phosphate may be used to a limited extent during pregnancy and breastfeeding . However, the doctor must carefully weigh up the benefits and risks in advance. In early pregnancy, a miscarriage can not be completely ruled out due to the use of the drug. The same applies to a premature birth .

In principle, children can also be treated with sodium monohydrogen phosphate. The dose depends on the age and weight of the affected child. Since constipation in children must always be medically clarified, a doctor should also be consulted. Interactions caused by taking the active ingredient combination sodium dihydrogen phosphate + sodium monohydrogen phosphate are also possible. If the two drugs are taken together with other laxatives, this can lead to an increase in the effect.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.