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Potassium

What is it?

Potassium is a mineral used for potassium deficiency. It also may be used for high blood pressure, heart disorders and kidney stones.

Other names for Potassium include: Potassium chloride, Potassium acetate, Potassium bicarbonate, Potassium citrate, and Potassium gluconate.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Potassium you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Potassium. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take potassium without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Anticholinergic medicines (examples: amantadine (Symmetrel(R)), atropine (Atropen(R)), benztropine (Cogentin(R)), glycopyrrolate (Robinul(R)), ipratropium (Atrovent(R)), oxybutynin (Ditropan(R)), solifenacin (Vesicare(R)), tolterodine (Detrol(R))) (1,23,24)
  • High blood pressure medicine (examples: captopril (Capoten(R)), enalapril (Vasotec(R)), lisinopril (Prinivil(R), Zestril(R)), trandolapril (Mavik(R))) (6-12)
  • Herbal supplements including dandelion, gossypol, and licorice (3,4,16-20)
  • Indomethacin (Indocin(R)) (2)
  • Water pills (examples: amiloride (Midamor(R), spironolactone (Aldactone(R)), triamterene (Dyrenium(R), Dyazide(R)), eplerenone (Inspra(R)) (13-15,25)

Warnings:

  • You should not take potassium, except under the guidance of your doctor, if you have hyperkalemia (high potassium levels in the body) (1)
  • Check with your doctor before taking potassium if you should have Addison's disease (adrenal gland disorder) or severe kidney problems (1)
  • Before taking potassium, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.
  • Confusion (21,22,25)
  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat (21,22,25)
  • Numb hands or feet (21,22)
  • Excessive weakness or heaviness of legs (21,22,25)
  • Trouble breathing (21,22,25)
  • Severe stomach pain or vomiting (21,22)
  • Pain in chest or throat (21,22)
  • Red or black stools with diarrhea (21,22)

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Indigestion (1)
  • Mild nausea or cramps (1,21,22)

References:

1. Product Information: KDur(R) potassium chloride. Key Pharmaceuticals, Kenilworth, NJ, 2002.

2. Akbarpour F, Afrasiabi A & Vaziri ND: Severe hyperkalemia caused by indomethacin and potassium supplementation. South Med J 1985;78(6):756-757.

3. Liu GZ, Ch'iu-Hinton K, Cao J et al: Effects of potassium salt or a potassium blocker on gossypol-related hypokalemia. Contraception 1988; 37(2);111-117.

4. Hook I, McGee A & Henman H: Evaluation of dandelion for diuretic activity and variation of potassium content. Int J Pharmacog 1993; 31:29-34.

5. Kageyama K, Watanobe H, Nishie M et al: A case of pseudoaldosteronism induced by a mouth refresher containing licorice. Endocr J 1997; 44(4): 631-632.

6. Chan TYK & Critchley JAJH: Life-threatening hyperkalaemia in an elderly patient receiving captopril, furosemide (frusemide) and potassium supplements. Drug Safety 1992; 7:159-161.

7. Stoltz ML & Andrews CE: Severe hyperkalemia during very-low-calorie diets and angiotensin converting enzyme use. JAMA 1990; 264:2737-2738.

8. Burnakis TG & Mioduch HJ: Combined therapy with captopril and potassium supplementation. A potential for hyperkalemia. Arch Intern Med 1984; 144:2371-2372.

9. Cook B: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and diuretics (letter). Br Med J (Clin Res) 1987; 295:1351-1352.

10. Textor SC, Bravo EL, Fouad FM, et al: Hyperkalemia in azotemic patients during angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition and aldosterone reduction with captopril. Am J Med 1982; 73:719-725.

11. Product Information: Zestril(R), lisinopril. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Wilmington, DE, 2003.

12. Product Information: Mavik(R), trandolapril. Knoll Pharmaceutical Company, Mount Olive, NJ, 1996.

13. O'Reilly MV, Murnaghan DP, & Williams MB: Transvenous pacemaker failure induced by hyperkalemia. JAMA 1974; 228:336-337.

14. Yap V, Patel A, & Thomsen J: Hyperkalemia with cardiac arrhythmia. Induction by salt substitutes, spironolactone, and azotemia. JAMA 1976; 236:2775-2776.

15. Simborg DN: Medication prescribing on a university medical service - the incidence of drug combinations with potential adverse interactions. Johns Hopkins Med J 1976; 139:23.

16. Racz-Kotilla E, Racz G & Solomon A: The action of Taraxacum officinale extracts on the body weight and diuresis of laboratory animals. Planta Med 1974; 26:212-217.

17. Lin S-H, Yang S-S, Chau T et al: An unusual cause of hypokalemic paralysis: chronic licorice ingestion. Am J Med Sci 2003; 325(3):153-156.

18. Eriksson JW, Carlberg B & Hillorn V: Life-threatening ventricular tachycardia due to liquorice-induced hypokalemia. J Int Med 1999; 245(3):307-310.

19. Liu GZ, Lyle KC & Cao J: Clinical trial of gossypol as a male contraceptive drug. Part I. Efficacy study. Fertil Steril 1987; 48(3):459-461.

20. Shaozhen A, Guangwei J, Xiaoyun W et al: Gossypol related hypokalemia: clinicopharmacologic studies. Chin Med J 1980; 93:477-482.

21. van der Loeff HJS, Strack van Schijndel RJM & Thijs LG: Cardiac arrest due to oral potassium intake. Intens Care Med 1988; 15:58-59.

22. Browning JJ & Channer KS: Hyperkalaemic cardiac arrhythmia caused by potassium citrate mixture (case report). Br Med J 1981; 283-1366.

23. Product Information: potassium chloride extended-release oral tablets, potassium chloride extended-release oral tablets. Andrx Pharmaceuticals,Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 2006.

24. Product Information: KLOR-CON(R) extended release tablets, potassium chloride extended release tablets. Upsher Smith Laboratories,Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 2005.

25. Product Information: INSPRA oral tablets, eplerenone oral tablets. G.D.Searle LLC, New York, NY, 2008.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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