Renagel, also known generically as sevelamer hydrochloride is a phosphate binder as per the drug class above. The active ingredient in Renagel is sevelamer hydrochloride which is a polymeric amine; it is this ingredient that binds together the phosphates. This drug comes in the form of tablets and is meant to be administered by mouth. Sevelamer hydrochloride is hydrophilic but it is insoluble in water.
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Primarily, Renagel is used to prevent low calcium levels in the body, a condition known as hypocalcemia and is caused by increased levels of phosphorus. The sevelamer component lowers the levels of phosphorus in patients undergoing dialysis caused by severe kidney complications. Dialysis eliminates some phosphate from the blood, but not enough to balance the phosphorus levels in the body. Decreasing the phosphate levels in the blood helps strengthen the bones, prevents dangerous accumulation of minerals in the body and decrease the risk of heart attacks. Sevelamer serves to hold onto the phosphate from the diet so that it can pass out of the body.
- Low Calcium Levels (Hypocalcemia)
Renagel doses often come in tablet forms and administered by mouth. The dosage prescriptions must be individualized based on the condition at hand and the health status of the patient. Here are some general guidelines to the dosages of Renagel.
- The accepted initial dose of Renagel is 800 to 1600 mg. This can be administered once or in two divided doses of 800 mg Renagel tablets, or even four 400 mg Renagel tablets.
- Renagel is solely administered with meals but with consideration of serum phosphorus level, however, a physician can make adjustments which best suit the condition.
- For patients not taking a phosphate binder and with a serum phosphorus level ranging from 5.5 to 7.5 mg, 1 Renagel tablet of 800 mg should be administered three times each day with meals.
- For similar patients with serum phosphorus level from 7.5 to 9.0 mg, 2 Renagel tablets of 800 mg should be administered three times a day with meals. As is apparent, the prescriptions of this drug are very specific and therefore, the patient should seek a doctor"s attention in case of any lack of clarity.
Renagel Side Effects
Renagel, like any other drug, comes with its collection of side effects that vary with each individual who uses it. When you first begin taking Renagel, watch yourself carefully for any worrying reactions. If you experience any severe side effects, consult with your doctor or medical professional immediately. Below is a list of known side effects. Note that this list is not complete.
- Vomiting, sometimes severe
- Passing gas
- Stomach upset
Renagel interacts with a range of substances and conditions. Some of these interactions may be fatal while some may just be mild. The patient should seek a doctor"s advice before undergoing the therapy involving Renagel. The list below does not contain all the substances that Renagel interact with. Therefore, the doctor involved might add other substances to the list before the therapy. Also, during the therapy, the patient is strongly advised against consuming any alcoholic substance. Here are some interactions of Renagel.