Renagel is a medicine that uses sevelamer as the main ingredient. It is classified as being a phosphate binder.
Renagel works by preventing calcium deficiency in the body, a condition usually caused when phosphorous levels in the body are too high.
It is also used to control elevated amounts of phosphorous in people who are suffering from renal conditions and are on dialysis.
Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to the main ingredient in it, or if you have a history of blocked bowels.
Tell your doctor if you are currently suffering from constipation, intestinal blocks, difficulty swallowing, or if you have recently been through abdominal surgery.
Try to refrain from taking any other medication at least 3 hours before and after Renagel has been taken, as it can render other medication ineffective.
Make sure you tell your doctor about any heart arrhythmia medication you are taking such as ciprofloxacin, or if you are on seizure meds.
Never take vitamin and mineral dietary supplements with Renagel unless your doctor has told you that it is okay.
The effect of Renagel on an unborn child is unknown as of now. It is recommended that you tell a doctor if you are or plan on becoming pregnant while being treated.
The tendency of Renagel to pass into the breast milk of a mother is unknown as well. Do not breastfeed your child while taking Renagel without talking to a doctor first.
You should take this medication exactly as your doctor has told you to. Do not deviate from the prescribed dosage in any way.
Do not take this drug in larger (or smaller) doses than has been recommended to you. Do not take it for a longer period than you have been told.
At times, your physician may change your prescribed dosage to suit your reaction to the medication in order to increase its effectiveness.
Always take this drug with a meal. It will help avoid stomachaches after. Swallow the pill in its entirety, and do not crush it, break it or chew it.
When wet, the pill is made to expand. If you chew it or break it while taking the pill, you may even find it hard to swallow.
Missed doses and overdose
If you miss a dose of Renagel, make sure you take it as soon as you remember. If you are about to take the next dose, ignore the one you missed. Never take a double dose to make up for it.
If you overdose on this medication, call your local poison hotline and emergency medical services immediately.
Common side effects include:
More severe side effects include:
Black, bloody stools
Call your doctor immediately if you experience these.
Do not take other medication at the same time as you take Renagel.
Stop taking immediately if you have an allergic reaction.
Do not take calcium or iron supplements without doctor’s permission.