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POTASSIUM CHLORIDE

Brand Name(s) : Kay-Cee-L, Slow-K, Sando-K (with potassium bicarbonate)
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE WARNINGS

Potassium chloride should be used with caution in: the elderly, those with kidney problems, heart problems, conditions causing a narrowing or blockage of the gut (intestine), stomach ulcer, hiatus hernia (stomach tissue bulging into the lower gullet; for modified-release preparations only), metabolic acidosis (a condition caused by increased acid levels in the blood), and those with Addison’s disease (a rare condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones).

It should not be used in: patients with severe kidney disease with reduced production of urine, severe dehydration, inadequately treated Addison's disease, or those with high potassium levels (hyperkalaemia).

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

Protect from light and store below 25°C.

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE USES

What is it used for?

  • Potassium chloride is used to replace potassium in people who have become short of potassium in the body.
  • It is a potassium supplement, sometimes known as potassium chloride.
  • It is used to replace essential potassium lost from the body owing to a variety of causes. These include the use of certain drugs causing low potassium levels, disruption of the body's normal potassium balance (e.g. by severe liver disease), potassium loss through an illness such as diarrhoea, or through lack of potassium in the diet (e.g. those who are malnourished, alcoholics or in some elderly patients). Replacement of potassium is achieved by drinking solutions containing potassium chloride, and where there is a severe lack of potassium (a condition called severe hypokalaemia) and enough potassium cannot be given by mouth, then a solution of potassium chloride may be given by an intravenous (IV) infusion.
  • In general this drug is used to treat low levels of potassium in the body (hypokalaemia).
  • Benefits of being on this drug can include prevention of the symptoms and consequences of hypokalaemia, ranging from muscle pain, constipation and general weakness to paralysis, paraesthesia (tingling, numbness or 'pins and needle' sensations) and tetany (involuntary contraction of muscles).

Listed below are the typical uses of potassium chloride.

  • Prevention and treatment of hypokalaemic states.

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, with food. It is available as effervescent (fizzy) tablets to be dissolved in water before drinking and as tablets to be swallowed whole with a drink of water. It is also available as a solution for injection into a vein to be given by a doctor or other healthcare worker.
  • Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it.
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told not to by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • None known. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE SIDE EFFECTS

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms: any problems with your heartbeat.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE PRECAUTIONS

Before taking potassium chloride, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other drugs containing potassium; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist in case of: severe kidney disease with reduced production of urine, severe dehydration, inadequately treated Addison's disease (a rare condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones), or high potassium levels (hyperkalaemia).

Before using this medication tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: kidney problems, heart problems, conditions causing a narrowing or blockage of the gut (intestine), stomach ulcer, hiatus hernia (stomach tissue bulging into the lower gullet; for modified-release preparations only), metabolic acidosis (a condition caused by increased acid levels in the blood), and those with Addison’s disease.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • It is not known whether drinking alcohol affects this drug's action.

The elderly: potassium chloride should be used with caution in the elderly as it may be more likely to cause high potassium levels (hyperkalaemia) in this group who often have reduced kidney function.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Potassium chloride should not be taken during pregnancy unless your doctor considers that the benefit outweighs the risk. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Potassium chloride should not be taken if you are breastfeeding unless your doctor considers that the benefit outweighs the risk.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur: none known.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and non-prescription/herbal products you may use, especially of:

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using potassium chloride, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE OVERDOSE

Taking too much potassium chloride may cause the following: high serum potassium levels (hyperkalaemia). Signs and symptoms include paraesthesia (tingling, numbness or 'pins and needle' sensations) in the hands and feet, listlessness, mental confusion, weakness, paralysis, low blood pressure (hypotension), abnormal heartbeat rhythm (arrhythmia) and heart attack.

People who have taken too much potassium chloride should seek should seek emergency treatment immediately.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of potassium chloride or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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