Sevelamer

Sevelamer lowers phosphorus levels in people with kidney disease on dialysis. Take Sevelamer with meals.

Sevelamer Overview

Reviewed: May 24, 2013
Updated: 

Sevelamer is a prescription medication used to lower phosphorus levels in people with kidney disease on dialysis. Sevelamer belongs to a group of drugs called phosphate binders, which help the body get rid of phosphorus.

This medication comes in tablet and oral suspension forms and is taken three times a day, with meals.

Common side effects of sevelamer include vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

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Sevelamer Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Sevelamer

Sevelamer is a prescription medication used to lower phosphorus levels in people with kidney disease on dialysis.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Sevelamer Brand Names

Sevelamer may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Sevelamer Drug Class

Side Effects of Sevelamer

Serious side effects have been reported with sevelamer. See “Sevelamer Precautions” section.

Common side effects of sevelamer include:

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach
  • pain in the stomach area (abdomen)
  • gas
  • constipation
  • itching
  • rash

This is not a complete list of sevelamer side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Sevelamer Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • levothyroxine

This is not a complete list of sevelamer drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Sevelamer Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with sevelamer including:

  • Gastrointestinal effects: Sevelamer can cause severe problems in the digestive tract, such as blockages and holes.  Tell your doctor if you have a history of swallowing disorders, digestive tract surgery, or severe constipation.
  • Sevelamer can affect your bicarbonate and chloride levels.  Your doctor may order a simple blood test to monitor these levels while you take sevelamer.
  • Sevelamer can decrease the amount of folic acid and vitamins D, E, and K in the body.  Your doctor will likely suggest you take a vitamin supplement while on sevelamer.

Do not take sevelamer if you:

  • are allergic to sevelamer or any of its ingredients
  • have a blockage in the intestines (bowel obstruction)

Sevelamer Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of sevelamer, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving sevelamer

Your doctor may suggest a diet low in phosphorus while taking sevelamer. Some foods high in phosphorus include:

  • Dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt)
  • Beans (baked, kidney, lima, pinto)
  • Nuts and peanut butter
  • Processed meats (hot dogs, canned meat)
  • Cola
  • Canned iced teas and lemonade
  • Bran cereals
  • Egg yolks

Inform MD

Before taking sevelamer, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have a history of swallowing disorders, digestive tract surgery, severe constipation, or intestinal blockage
  • are allergic to sevelamer
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Sevelamer and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Sevelamer falls into category C. Studies in animals have shown a harmful and undesired effect on the unborn baby, yet there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. 

This medication may be given to a pregnant woman if her healthcare provider believes that its benefits to the pregnant woman outweigh any possible risks to her unborn baby.

Sevelamer and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if sevelamer is excreted in human breast milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

 

Sevelamer Usage

  • Take sevelamer exactly as prescribed.
  • This medication comes in tablet and oral suspension forms and is taken three times a day, with meals.
  • For the oral suspension, sevelamer powder should be mixed with the appropriate amount of water and taken within 30 minutes of mixing.  Remix the powder right before drinking.
  • If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of sevelamer at the same time.

Sevelamer Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The recommended starting dose of sevelamer is 0.8 or 1.6 grams taken three times per day, with meals.

The dose can be increased in order to obtain serum phosphorus target (3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL) or the target indicated by your doctor. 

Sevelamer Overdose

If you take too much this medication, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

If this medication is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

Store sevelamer at room temperature.

Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.