23 Feb 2012

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses


Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine.


1.  Generic Name or Active Ingredient:

Sodium biphosphate and sodium phosphate


2.  Uses:

      Available as an enema for the treatment of constipation.


3.  How This Medicine Works:

It increases the water content of your stools, helping to relieve constipation and clear your bowel.


4.  Do Not Use This Medicine If:

·         You are allergic to this medicine or any ingredients in this medicine.

·         You suffer from abdominal pain, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, abnormal build-up of fluid in the space between the lining of the abdomen and the abdominal organs, bowel obstruction or perforation, enlargement of the large intestine (megacolon), active inflammatory bowel disease, overactive parathyroid gland, narrowing or incomplete opening the anus, appendicitis, or rectal bleeding.

·         You feel sick or are vomiting.

·         The patient is below 3 years old.


5.  Before You Start To Use This Medicine:

·         Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other medications.

·         Inform your pharmacist or doctor is you have a heart or kidney condition, suffer from electrolyte imbalances, low blood pressure or reduced movement in part or all of your intestines, have had a colostomy or an ileostomy, recent operation on stomach or intestines, or are on a low-salt diet.

·         Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

·         Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children.

6.   Using With Other Medication:

Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication, vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this medicine especially:

·         Anti-hypertensives

·         Anti- angina

·         Diuretics

·         Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

·         Lithium-containing medicines

·         Any other medicines that could make you dehydrated or alter your electrolytes

·         Parathyroid hormones medicines

·         Anti-arrhythmics

·         Any medicines regularly taken by mouth as there may be incomplete absorption of these oral medicines making them less effective or ineffective.


7.  How To Use This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. (hyperlink DIS)


a)    How to use

                  i.    Remove the protective shield from the enema tip before inserting.

                ii.    With steady pressure, gently insert the enema tip into the rectum with a slight side-to-side movement, with the tip pointing toward the navel. Insertion may be easier if you bear down, as if having a bowel movement. This helps relax the muscles around the anus.

               iii.    Do not force the enema tip into the rectum. This can cause injury.

               iv.    Squeeze the bottle until nearly all the liquid is gone. It is not necessary to empty the bottle completely. It contains more liquid than needed.

                v.    Remove the tip from the rectum and maintain the position until the urge to evacuate is strong (usually 2 to 5 minutes).


b)   When to use

·         As directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

·         Do not use more than 1 enema in 24 hours.


c)    How long to use

·         Do not use for longer than 14 days.


d)   If you forget to use

Use it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine. Do not double the dose.

8.  While Using This Medicine:


a)    Things you should do:

·         Drink plenty of clear fluids (250mls every hour) to avoid dehydration.

·         Express and discard breast milk for up to 24 hours after using this medicine.

·         Remain near a toilet until the effects of the medicine have worn off.

·         Consult your doctor if you do not experience loose bowel movement within 5 minutes of using the enema.


b)   Things you must NOT do:

·         Do not exceed the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.

·         Do not drink the enema.

·         Do not take additional laxatives or stool softeners with this medicine unless directed by your doctor.


Overuse of laxatives can lead to a DEPENDENCE on laxatives to have a bowel movement. In severe overuse cases, some laxatives have caused damage to the intestines and bowel.


In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention.


9.  Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects which are severe or persistent.

      Possible side effects:

·         Dehydration

·         Allergic reactions (with or without rash)

·         Muscle twitches and spasms due to changes in the electrolytes levels

·         Bloating

·         Abdominal pain

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Anal itching or stinging

·         Blisters

·         Diarrhea

·         Chills


10. Storage and disposal:

·         Store at room temperature and in a dry place.

·         Keep away from direct sunlight.

·         Keep out of reach of children.

·         Do not use after the expiry date has passed.

·         Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.


1.    Website:

2.    Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0

3.    Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th edition

4.    Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities 2011

British National Formulary Vol. 60