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All about: K-Dur

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Generic Name: potassium chloride (poe TAS ee um)
Brand Names: Cena K, Glu-K, K+Care, K-10, K-Dur, K-Lor, K-Norm, K-Tab, Kaochlor, Kaon-CI, Kato, Kay Ciel, Klor-Con, Klorvess, Klotrix, Micro-K, Slow-K, Ten-K

What is potassium chloride?

Potassium is a mineral that is found naturally in foods and is necessary for many normal functions of the body, especially the beating of the heart.

Potassium chloride is used to treat or prevent a lack of natural potassium in the body.

Potassium chloride may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about potassium chloride?

Take this medication with a full glass of water. You may take potassium chloride with food or milk to lessen stomach upset. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release medicine slowly in the body. If you have problems swallowing, ask your doctor about other forms of potassium.

Mix the powder, granule, or liquid form of this medicine with at least 4 ounces (one-half cup) of water or juice. Stir the mixture thoroughly and drink it right away. Do not use any of these forms of potassium chloride without first mixing them with a liquid.

Do not use a salt substitute while taking potassium chloride unless your doctor has told you to. Salt substitutes may contain potassium. You may get too much potassium and experience side effects if you use these products.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking potassium chloride?

Before taking potassium chloride, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • Addison's disease;

  • stomach ulcer or intestinal blockage;

  • chronic diarrhea; or

  • if you are taking a potassium-sparing diuretic such as triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide), spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide), or amiloride (Midamor, Moduretic).

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use potassium chloride, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether potassium chloride passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take potassium chloride?

Use this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it has been prescribed by your doctor. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or use it for longer than recommended.

Take this medication with a full glass of water. You may take potassium chloride with food or milk to lessen stomach upset.

Mix the powder, granule, or liquid form of this medicine with at least 4 ounces (one-half cup) of water or juice. Stir the mixture thoroughly and drink it right away. Do not use any of these forms of potassium chloride without first mixing them with a liquid.

Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets or capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release medicine slowly in the body. If you have problems swallowing, ask your doctor about other forms of potassium.

Do not worry if you find a wax capsule in your stool (bowel movement). The capsule is formulated to be passed out in the stool, but the drug has been absorbed by the body.

It is important to take potassium chloride regularly to get the most benefit.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store potassium chloride at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a potassium chloride overdose may include paralysis, numbness or tingly feeling, uneven heartbeat, feeling light-headed, fainting, chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

What should I avoid while taking potassium chloride?

Do not use a salt substitute while taking potassium chloride without first talking to your doctor. Salt substitutes may contain potassium. You may get too much potassium and experience side effects if you use these products.

Potassium chloride side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;

  • uneven heartbeat;

  • confusion;

  • unusual tiredness, weakness, or heavy feeling;

  • stomach pain or severe cramping; or

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools.

Continue taking potassium chloride and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or upset stomach;

  • skin rash;

  • mild tingling in your hands or feet; or

  • anxiety.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect potassium chloride?

Before taking potassium chloride, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik);

  • a beta-blocker such as acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), betaxolol (Kerlone), bisoprolol (Zebeta), carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), esmolol (Brevibloc), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), penbutolol (Levatol), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), or timolol (Blocadren);

  • a diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride (Midamor), bumetanide (Bumex), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zarxolyn), spironolactone (Aldactone), triamterene (Dyrenium, Maxzide, Dyazide), torsemide (Demadex), and others;

  • a steroid such as prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, others), cortisone (Cortone), hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone, others), or dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol); or

  • an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), diclofenac (Voltaren), diflunisal (Dolobid), etodolac (Lodine), flurbiprofen (Ansaid), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), ketorolac (Toradol), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), meloxicam (Mobic), nabumetone (Relafen), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use potassium chloride, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect potassium chloride. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has information about potassium chloride written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Potassium chloride is available with a prescription generically and under many brand names in the forms of a liquid, powder, tablet, and capsule. Other formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.05. Revision Date: 9/27/06 3:53:18 PM.

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