Sevelamer is used to control high blood levels of phosphorus in people with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis (medical treatment to clean the blood when the kidneys are not working properly). Sevelamer is in a class of medications called phosphate binders. It binds phosphorus that you get from foods in your diet and prevents it from being absorbed into your bloodstream.
Side Effects Of Sevelamer
Sevelamer may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- new or worsening constipation
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- black and tarry stools
- red blood in stools
Sevelamer may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking sevelamer:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sevelamer, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in sevelamer tablets or powder for suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may tell you to take your medications at certain times before or after you take sevelamer, change the doses of your medications, or monitor you carefully for side effects. If you are taking cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), levothyroxine (Levo-T, Synthroid, Tirosint, others), or tacrolimus (Astagraf, Prograf, Protopic), you should take them at least 1 hour before or 3 hours after you have taken sevelamer. Take ciprofloxacin (Cipro) at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after taking sevelamer. Also, take mycophenolate (Cellcept) at least 2 hours before taking sevelamer. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have a blockage of your stomach or intestines. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take sevelamer.
- tell your doctor if you have difficulty swallowing, or have or have ever had stomach or bowel problems including ulcers (sores in the lining of the stomach or intestine), an inflammatory bowel disease, constipation, or have had surgery on your stomach or intestines.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking sevelamer, call your doctor.
- you should know that sevelamer may decrease levels of vitamins and folic acid in the body. Talk to your doctor to see if you need to take an additional amount of these vitamins during your treatment with sevelamer.
Dosage Of Sevelamer
Sevelamer comes as a tablet and as a powder for the suspension to take by mouth. It is usually taken three times a day with meals. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take sevelamer exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Do not break or crush the tablets.
Your doctor will probably adjust your dose based on your phosphorus blood levels, not more often than once every 2 weeks.
If you are taking the powder for suspension, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions for use that come with the medication. These instructions describe how to prepare and measure your dose. Mix the powder with the recommended amount of water for your dose and stir the mixture vigorously. The mixture will be cloudy as the powder does not dissolve. Alternatively, you can mix the powder with a food or beverage. Do not microwave the mixture or add the powder to heated foods or liquids. Take the mixture immediately after preparation (within 30 minutes), as part of your meal. If the mixture is not taken within 30 minutes of preparing it, dispose of the mixture.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to determine your response to sevelamer.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.