Generic Drug Name: Aluminum Hydroxide
Other Common Names: Amphogel, AlternaGel
Aluminum hydroxide is an intestinal phosphorus binder commonly used for dogs and cats with chronic renal failure. The drug is used to reduce phosphorous levels in the blood when the kidney can no longer perform. Also found in antacids, aluminum hydroxide can be used to treat symptoms of increased stomach acid that cause heartburn and indigestion. Another common use is to treat stomach ulcers.
The most common side effect with the use of aluminum hydroxide is constipation. The drug can be unpalatable for many animals, so administration may be challenging. The use of aluminum hydroxide can also lead to muscle weakness and thinning of the bones.
Aluminum hydroxide should not be given to animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. If anything unusual occurs, the pet's veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible. Although not likely in small animals, aluminum toxicity is a possibility when this drug is used for long periods of time. If this becomes apparent, the pet's veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
Aluminum hydroxide should be stored at room temperature unless the manufacturer of the product states otherwise.
Aluminum hydroxide is typically administered orally, typically in powder, gel, or tablet form. Dosage is prescribed based on the degree of phosphorous levels in the blood, which should be tested by a veterinarian often to ensure the proper amount is administered. Typical administration for dogs and cats in gel form is 5-15 mg/lb (10-30 mg/kg) every 8 hours with a meal. Veterinarians should be informed of any other medications the pet is taking before aluminum hydroxide is prescribed, as drug interactions can occur. Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely. If a dose is missed, the pet's veterinarian should be contacted for further instruction.