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All about: Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules

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Generic Name: Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules (poe-TAS-ee-um KLOR-ide)
Brand Name: Micro-K

Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules is used for:

Preventing or treating low blood potassium levels in certain patients. Low blood potassium levels may be caused by certain diseases, severe or prolonged episodes of vomiting or diarrhea, certain medicines (eg, corticosteroids, diuretics, digitalis), surgery, or other conditions. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules is an electrolyte. It works by providing potassium when you have low levels of potassium in your blood.

Do NOT use Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules
  • you have high blood potassium levels or severe kidney problems
  • you have a narrowing of the esophagus due to an enlarged heart; or a blockage, slowing, or paralysis of the esophagus, stomach, or intestines
  • you are taking an aldosterone blocker (eg, eplerenone), an anticholinergic (eg, methscopolamine), or a potassium-sparing diuretic (eg, spironolactone, triamterene)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules:

Some medical conditions may interact with Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems, high blood acid levels, heat cramps, extensive tissue injury (eg, severe burns), muscle weakness or paralysis, potassium excretion problems, diabetes, heart problems (eg, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, mitral valve replacement), esophagus problems, high blood pressure, diarrhea, adrenal gland problems, or scleroderma, or you are dehydrated
  • if you are confined to a bed or chair

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Aldosterone blockers (eg, eplerenone), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, lisinopril), or potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone, triamterene) because high blood potassium levels may occur and cause listlessness, confusion, abnormal skin sensations of the arms and legs, heaviness of limbs, slowed or irregular heartbeat, or stopping of the heart
  • Anticholinergics (eg, methscopolamine because the risk of esophagus, stomach, or intestinal problems may be increased
  • Digoxin because the risk of its side effects may be increased by Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules:

Use Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules by mouth with food or after a meal.
  • Take Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules.
  • Swallow this medicine whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing. If you cannot swallow the capsule whole, you may open it and sprinkle the contents over a spoonful of applesauce or pudding. Do not use hot food or food that cannot be swallowed without chewing. Mix the medicine with the applesauce or pudding and swallow the mixture right away, followed by a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the medicine before swallowing. Do not store the mixture for future use.
  • If you miss a dose of Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules.

Important safety information:

  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
  • If you have trouble swallowing Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules, or if it seems to stick in your throat, check with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including blood potassium or electrocardiogram (ECG), may be performed while you use Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules while you are pregnant. Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; gas; nausea; stomach discomfort; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; chest pain; irregular heartbeat; listlessness; numbness or tingling in your skin, lips, hands, or feet; severe nausea or vomiting; stomach pain or swelling; unusual confusion or anxiety; unusual muscle weakness or paralysis; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; weak or heavy legs.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include abnormal skin sensations of the arms and legs; bloody stools; confusion; heaviness of limbs; listlessness; slow or irregular heartbeat; slowed breathing rate; stopping of the heart.

Proper storage of Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules:

Store Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Potassium Chloride Extended-Release Capsules. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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