Oral Fleet Phospho-Soda laxative-induced hyperphosphatemia and hypocalcemic tetany in an adult: report of a case

Dis Colon Rectum. 1997 Apr;40(4):497-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02258399.


Purpose: This study was undertaken to report an adverse outcome of the routine use of Fleets Phospho-Soda for bowel cleansing and to review the available literature.

Method: Report of a case and review of the literature is presented.

Result: Administration of Fleets Phospho-Soda for bowel preparation in an adult resulted in hyperphosphatemia and hypocalcemic tetany. Review of the literature shows this to be the first such report. Further evaluation suggests a role for partial bowel obstruction and renal failure in this complication.

Conclusion: Although Fleet Phospho-Soda solution continues to be a safe bowel preparation, caution should be used in adults with bowel obstruction and renal failure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / complications
  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Cathartics / adverse effects*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction / complications
  • Phosphates / adverse effects*
  • Phosphorus Metabolism Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Tetany / chemically induced*


  • Cathartics
  • Phosphates
  • sodium phosphate