Sodium Phosphate, Oral

What are other names for this medicine?

Type of medicine: bowel evacuant

Generic and trade names: sodium phosphate, oral; sodium phosphate monobasic monohydrate/sodium phosphate dibasic anhydrous; Visicol

What is this medicine used for?

This medicine is taken by mouth to cleanse the bowel before a colonoscopy (using a flexible scope to examine the colon and bowel) in adults.

What should my health care provider know before I take this medicine?

Tell your health care provider if you have ever had:

Females of childbearing age: Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking this medicine. Do not breast-feed without your health care provider's approval while taking this medicine.

How do I use it?

You will need to have a clear liquid diet for at least 12 hours before you take this medicine. Drink only clear liquids such as clear soup (bouillon), ginger ale, apple juice, or Jell-O (not red Jell-O because it might look like blood in the stool).

The evening before the colonoscopy, take 3 tablets at a time with at least 8 ounces of water, apple juice, white grape juice, or colorless soda every 15 minutes until you have taken a total of 20 tablets that evening. The next day, at least 3 to 5 hours before the colonoscopy, take 3 tablets every 15 minutes with at least 8 ounces of clear liquid until you have taken them all. The last dose will be 2 tablets.

This medicine will cause you to have several watery bowel movements until only clear movements occur. Stay close to the bathroom after you take this medicine.

Do not take other laxative products such as enemas (Fleet Enema) or liquid laxatives such as Fleet Phospho-soda.

What should I watch out for?

Be sure to drink at least 8 ounces of clear liquid with each dose. If you do not drink enough water, you may become dehydrated or not cleanse all the waste from your colon. If this happens, you may need a repeat exam.

You may see partially digested tablets in your stool. This is not harmful.

You should not take more than one course of this medicine within 7 days.

What are the possible side effects?

Along with its needed effects, your medicine may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. Tell your health care provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating and pain, dizziness, or headache are usually temporary.

What products might interact with this medicine?

When you take this medicine with other medicines, it can change the way this or any of the other medicines work. Nonprescription medicines, vitamins, natural remedies, and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Talk to your health care provider if you are taking:

Any other medicines (prescription, nonprescription, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins) taken close to the time that you take this medicine may not be properly absorbed. Ask your health care provider how and when to take any other medicines you may need.

Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, nonprescription, supplements, natural remedies, and vitamins) with you. Be sure that you tell all health care providers who treat you about all the products you are taking.

How should I store this medicine?

Store this medicine at room temperature. Keep the container tightly closed. Protect it from heat, high humidity, and bright light.


This advisory includes selected information only and may not include all side effects of this medicine or interactions with other medicines. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.

Ask your pharmacist for the best way to dispose of outdated medicine or medicine you have not used. Do not throw medicines in the trash.

Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.

Do not share medicines with other people.