Fleet Phospho-soda has been associated with the development of a serious form of kidney damage known as Acute Phosphate Nephropathy. In December of last year, the FDA underscored the concern about these products through a MedWatch Safety Alert, that oral sodium phosphates (OSP) bowel cleansing solutions should be available by prescription only. Accordingly, our lawyers are reviewing Fleet Phospho-soda cases for a potential class action involving Fleet and other oral sodium phosphate products.
In response to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Alert, C.B. Fleet immediately recalled - although they would not use the term "recall" - its over-the-counter products Fleet Phospho-soda and Fleet Phospho-soda EZ-Prep Bowel Cleansing System. Notwithstanding C.B. Fleet’s immediate response, the issue that is likely to be raised in Fleet Phospho-soda lawsuits is why did they wait for the FDA. Because the reality is that none of this information is new. Reports of renal failure and death following the use of Fleet(R) Phospho- Soda(R) were being made in the 1990s when C.B Fleet first began promoting the use of double doses (totaling 90 ml) of Fleet Phospho-soda as an alternative to competitor bowel cleansers available.
This is what the problem appears to be. It may be that smaller doses of Fleet Phospho-soda may not cause kidney damage but larger doses do because it may be dose responsive although no one knows for sure. The FDA is putting the onus back on doctors – mostly gastroenterologists and colon-rectal surgeons for the injuries, by making Fleet Phospho-soda (written interchangeably by some as Fleet Phosphosoda or incorrectly as Fleet Fosphosoda) available only by prescription. This presumes these doctors have knowledge of the risks involved with larger doses. So this change is likely to temper but not eliminate kidney injuries from oral sodium phosphates.