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What Is Sevelamer Carbonate?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Sevelamer carbonate is a prescription medication which is used to control phosphorous levels in the blood of those experiencing chronic renal failure, particularly those who are on dialysis. This drug is available in both tablet and powder form and is taken three times per day with meals, or as directed by a doctor. Possible sevelamer carbonate side effects include nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of sevelamer carbonate should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Impaired kidneys are not able to properly filter certain substances from the blood. Due to this compromised kidney function, patients with chronic renal disease often have excess phosphorous in the bloodstream. Sevelamer carbonate works to bind phosphorous in the digestive tract, aiding in absorption and lowering the phosphorous levels in the blood.

In most cases, sevelamer carbonate is taken three times per day with meals and may be prescribed in the form of a tablet or a powder. The dosage of this medication may be gradually increased, usually in two week intervals, until desired results are achieved. This normally requires frequent blood testing in order to determine the levels of phosphorous in the blood.

Gastrointestinal disturbances are common side effects of sevelamer carbonate and may range from mild to severe. Some of the most common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some patients may experience constipation instead of diarrhea, while others may experience alternating bouts of both diarrhea and constipation. Flatulence and abdominal discomfort may also be present. If these symptoms persist or become severe, a doctor should be consulted for further medical evaluation.

Blood pressure changes may occur among those taking sevelamer carbonate. This may manifest as either hypertension or hypotension. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, may lead to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, or chest pain. Hypotension is a medical term used to describe low blood pressure and may cause dizziness or fainting. Additional medications may be needed to help control blood pressure levels in those taking sevelamer carbonate.

This medication may cause abnormal blood test results and may alter certain blood chemistries. For this reason, anyone taking this drug will need to have periodic blood tests performed. Some studies indicate that fertility may be affected by long-term use of this medication, so those planning on having children in the near future may need to avoid this drug if possible.

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