Adverse Effects of GranuFlo That You Didn’t Know

by Andrew Miller on January 26, 2013

Recent medical research has led to startling discoveries about the adverse effects that develop from the use of the pharmaceutical product GranuFlo. Since these side effects have become known, a mass recall of this drug has been issued. This comes as a surprise to many who believe GranuFlo to be a viable product to use in their medical plan for dialysis. This product was widely used to treat patients with kidney problems and those requiring dialysis. However, the class 1 recall of the product by the FDA has sounded the alarm bells and proved that GranuFlo does in fact have the potential to cause health concerns that medical practitioners and patients were previously not aware of.

GranuFlo Has Been Shown To Dangerously Raise Bicarbonate Levels

GranuFlo, a powdered substance used in dialysis, exists to create bicarbonate, which is very important during the process of dialysis. However, problems arise when this bicarbonate reaches high levels due to the composition of GranuFlo. The actual composition of GranuFlo is such that it naturally causes a patient to produce more bicarbonate than the substance more traditionally used in dialysis. This means that at the same dosage, GranuFlo will cause extremely dangerous levels of bicarbonate for the patient. This causes excessive alkaline levels in the blood when the bicarbonate levels rise, also known as metabolic alkalosis, and is detrimental for internal organs. Metabolic alkalosis has several symptoms including low blood pressure, low potassium levels in the blood, low oxygen levels in the blood, as well as high carbon dioxide levels. The condition can be responsible for heart attacks, comas, and in the worst cases, death.

GranuFlo Can Cause Cardiac Arrest

One of the more lethal effects of the excess bicarbonate that GranuFlo can cause is heart problems, specifically cardiac arrests. In many cases studied, heart attacks during dialysis – a risk any kidney patient is aware of – were linked to GranuFlo. Cardiac arrest is commonly considered the most risky side effect of dialysis, and many patients may have not been aware that GranuFlo was behind many of these heart attacks simply because it dangerously plays around with the bicarbonate level of the patient. Not every patient who experiences a cardiac arrest dies as a result of it. However, cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death are the two reasons cited by the manufacturer of GranuFlo after its recall.

After the link was discovered between high bicarbonate levels, cardiac arrest and GranuFlo, the FDA acted quickly to have the product removed from use. The serious health risks that the product represents are certainly not worth the convenience of using it. It is very important for bicarbonate levels to remain normal during dialysis, as the kidneys are not functioning to their full capacity. A kidney patient certainly does not need to be dealing with low blood oxygen levels, or high carbon dioxide levels, or the host of other symptoms caused by metabolic alkalosis. When the patient’s body must balance all of those complications on top of dialysis, it can often be too much for the heart to take.

If you or a loved one developed life-threatening health issues while on dialysis and you believe it is the direct result of GranuFlo, speak with a legal professional as soon as possible.  Cohen & Malad, LLP are GranuFlo lawyers available to help sufferers nationwide.  For more information about GranuFlo, visit the website at

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller

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