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All about: Kionex

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Generic Name: sodium polystyrene sulfonate (SOE dee um pol ee STEER een SUL foe nate)
Brand Names: Kayexalate, Kionex

What is Kionex (sodium polystyrene sulfonate)?

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate affects the exchange of sodium and potassium in the body.

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is used to treat high levels of potassium in the blood, also called hyperkalemia.

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

What is the most important information I should know about Kionex (sodium polystyrene sulfonate)?

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate can be given as a liquid by mouth, through a stomach feeding tube, or as a rectal enema. This medication is usually given 1 to 4 times daily by a healthcare professional in a hospital setting.

If possible, before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you have a bowel obstruction, low blood levels of potassium, heart disease or high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, edema (water weight gain), kidney disease, or if you are constipated or on a low-salt diet.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated with sodium polystyrene sulfonate to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows that you have received this medication.

Tell your caregivers right away if you have any signs that your potassium level is getting too low, such as: pain or fluttering in your chest, uneven heartbeats, feeling irritable or confused, severe muscle weakness, breathing problems, or inability to move your muscles.

Tell your doctor if you also take digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), thyroxine, or a diuretic (water pill).

Do not use salt substitutes or take potassium or calcium supplements unless your doctor has told you to. Avoid using antacids or laxatives without your doctor's advice.

You will need to keep using this medication even if you feel fine. Hyperkalemia often has no symptoms that you will notice.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving Kionex (sodium polystyrene sulfonate)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to sodium polystyrene sulfonate, or have certain conditions. Be sure your doctor knows if you have:
  • low potassium levels (hypokalemia); or

  • a bowel obstruction.

Before receiving sodium polystyrene sulfonate, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • edema (water weight gain);

  • kidney disease;

  • constipation; or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use sodium polystyrene sulfonate, or you may need dosage adjustments 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 this medication 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.

In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before treatment to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows that you have received this medication.

How is sodium polystyrene sulfonate given?

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate can be given as a liquid by mouth, through a stomach feeding tube, or as a rectal enema. This medication is usually given 1 to 4 times daily by a healthcare professional in a hospital setting.

The powder form of this medicine is mixed with water, or syrup (to make it taste better if given by mouth).

If you are given the rectal enema, the liquid will be given slowly while you are lying down. You may need to hold the enema in for up to several hours. The sodium polystyrene sulfonate enema is usually followed with a second cleansing enema.

You will need to keep using this medication even if you feel fine. Hyperkalemia often has no symptoms that you will notice.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with sodium polystyrene sulfonate.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since this medication is usually given in a hospital, it is not likely that you will miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Tell your caregivers at once if you think you have received too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include confusion, irritability, trouble thinking or concentrating, muscle weakness, or trouble breathing.

What should I avoid while receiving Kionex (sodium polystyrene sulfonate)?

Do not use salt substitutes or take potassium or calcium supplements unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid using antacids or laxatives without your doctor's advice. Antacids or laxatives can make sodium polystyrene sulfonate less effective or cause serious side effects.

Avoid eating or drinking anything that contains sorbitol (a fruit sugar often used as a sweetener in chewing gum, diet drinks, baked goods, or frozen desserts).

Kionex (sodium polystyrene sulfonate) 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. Tell your caregivers right away if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • pain or fluttering in your chest;

  • uneven heartbeats;

  • feeling irritable or confused;

  • increased thirst or urination;

  • severe muscle weakness;

  • inability to move your muscles;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;

  • pain in your lower stomach or rectum; or

  • swelling, rapid weight gain.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • diarrhea or constipation;

  • nausea or vomiting;

  • upset stomach; or

  • loss of appetite.

This list is not complete and other side effects may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

What other drugs will affect Kionex (sodium polystyrene sulfonate)?

Before receiving this medicine, tell your doctor if you also use:

  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);

  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);

  • thyroxine; or

  • a diuretic (water pill) such as triamterene (Dyrenium, Maxzide, Dyazide), spironolactone (Aldactone), or amiloride (Midamor).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about sodium polystyrene.

  • 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: 2.01. Revision Date: 08/13/2007 3:24:47 PM.

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