Aluminum Hydroxide: A Medication for Managing Phosphorus Levels in Pets


If you have a furry friend with kidney disease, you may have heard of aluminum hydroxide. But what exactly is it and how does it work? In this article, we’ll explore the uses and benefits of aluminum hydroxide for pets.

What Is Aluminum Hydroxide?

Aluminum hydroxide is a valuable medication available in liquid or tablet form. It is commonly used to treat abnormally high phosphorus levels in dogs, cats, small mammals, and reptiles with kidney disease. This medication becomes necessary when a low phosphorus diet alone is not sufficient to maintain normal phosphorus concentrations in the blood.

Interestingly, aluminum hydroxide is not exclusively limited to pets. It can also be used in cows as an antacid and for the treatment of abomasal ulcers. Horses, on the other hand, may receive aluminum hydroxide in rare cases to treat gastroduodenal ulcers.

While aluminum hydroxide is FDA-approved for human use as an over-the-counter medication, it is important to note that it is not currently FDA-approved for veterinary use. However, it is widely utilized in the veterinary field, and veterinarians can legally prescribe certain human drugs to animals in specific circumstances. This is known as extra-label or off-label use.

How Aluminum Hydroxide Works

Aluminum hydroxide acts as a phosphate binder, meaning it directly binds to phosphorus in the gastrointestinal tract. By doing so, it prevents the absorption of additional phosphorus from the diet, helping to maintain normal phosphorus concentrations in the blood.

Additionally, aluminum hydroxide possesses antacid properties that allow it to neutralize stomach acid. This feature is essential in preventing ulcers caused by excess stomach acid. By creating a less acidic environment in the stomach, aluminum hydroxide can effectively prevent the formation or worsening of ulcers.

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In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend a compounded formulation of aluminum hydroxide. Compounded medications are specially prescribed when a specific health condition cannot be managed with an FDA-approved drug. Factors such as difficulty in swallowing pills, unavailability of desired dosage strength, or pet allergies to certain ingredients may warrant the use of compounded medications. It’s important to note that compounded medications are not FDA-approved and are tailored to suit the unique needs of individual patients.

Aluminum Hydroxide Directions

To ensure the effectiveness of aluminum hydroxide, it is vital to administer it just before a meal or mix it into your pet’s food. The frequency of use depends on the species and the reason for treatment. Your veterinarian will determine the best course of treatment based on your pet’s symptoms and characteristics.

Aluminum Hydroxide Possible Side Effects

Fortunately, side effects of aluminum hydroxide are rare. The most commonly observed side effect is constipation, which is seen in some cases. In horses, a decreased appetite may be observed.

Human Side Effects

While aluminum hydroxide is primarily used for humans, it is crucial to remember that there are different dosages and side effects for humans. In the event of accidental ingestion of medication intended for pets, it is advised to contact your physician or the national Poison Control Center hotline at 800-222-1222.

Monitoring and When to Contact Your Vet

Your veterinarian may recommend specific monitoring or routine testing while your pet is on aluminum hydroxide. This may vary depending on your pet’s individual needs, other medications they may be taking, and the initial health issue that led to the use of this medication.

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Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you observe severe side effects, your pet’s condition worsens or fails to improve with treatment, you suspect an overdose, or if you have any additional questions or concerns about the use of aluminum hydroxide.

Aluminum Hydroxide Storage

Aluminum hydroxide should be stored at controlled room temperatures to avoid freezing. It is essential to protect the medication from extreme hot and cold temperatures. Always refer to the label for specific storage requirements. Ensure the container is tightly closed to protect the contents from moisture and light. Compounded medications should be stored in accordance with the labeling instructions provided by the compounding pharmacy. Keep aluminum hydroxide out of reach of children and pets to ensure their safety.

Aluminum Hydroxide FAQs

For more information and frequently asked questions about aluminum hydroxide, visit Katten TrimSalon. Our knowledgeable veterinarians are ready to provide the guidance you need to ensure your pet’s well-being.

Remember, when it comes to your furry friend’s health, it’s always essential to consult with a trusted veterinarian for expert advice and proper treatment.