Meds and you

30 September 2013

Potassium chloride (oral)

Potassium is an electrolyte. Electrolytes are chemicals such as salts and minerals needed for various functions in the body.

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Potassium chloride is the active ingredient of Plenish K Tablets (Nappi code: 755752-003, 011), Sandoz K-600 Tablets (Nappi code: 702947-001, 002) & Slow-K Tablets (Nappi code: 764396-005).

General information
Potassium is an electrolyte. Electrolytes are chemicals such as salts and minerals needed for various functions in the body.

In South Africa potassium is registered for the prevention and treatment of potassium deficiency. This is particularly necessary during treatment with certain types of diuretics, and during treatment with digoxin.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 2
Available as: potassium is available as tablets.
What does it do? Potassium helps to control the body's fluid balance and, together with sodium, is essential for the conduction of nerve impulses and the functioning of muscles. It is also essential in maintaining a normal heart rhythm.
Overdose risk: low
Dependence risk: low
Is potassium available as a generic? yes
Is potassium available on prescription only? no

User information

Dietary advice: this supplement should best be taken with or after a meal, and with plenty of water.
Stopping this medicine: do not stop taking this drug without consulting your doctor.
Prolonged use: your doctor may need to monitor your blood levels of potassium if used for long periods of time.

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you are taking ACE-inhibitor drugs
  • you have a kidney disease
  • you have a stomach ulcer
  • you have Addison’s disease
  • you have been diagnosed with an intestinal obstruction
  • you are dehydrated
  • you are taking other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: this medication is safe for use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe for use.
Infants and children: use only as directed by your paediatrician.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are more likely to occur.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.
Alcohol: no special precautions need to be taken.

Possible side effects

Side Effect
Frequency
Consult your doctor

Common
Rare
Only if severe
In all cases
nausea/vomiting
X

X

diarrhoea
X

X

abdominal discomfort
X

X

black stools

X

X
painful swallowing

X

X
palpitations

X

X
confusion

X

X
skin rash

X

X

Interactions

Drug interactions

ACE inhibitors risk of potassium toxicity
potassium sparing diuretics including amiloride, triamterene and spirinolactone risk of potassium toxicity

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults, oral: 600 - 7200mg daily in 1 - 3 doses.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
 

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