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All about: Potassium Products

Big Image Pronouncation: (poe-TASS-ee-uhm)
Class: Electrolyte

Trade Names:
- Tablets, effervescent 25 mEq potassium (as bicarbonate and citrate)

Trade Names:
- Powder 20 mEq potassium chloride per packet

Trade Names:
- Tablets, effervescent 25 mEq potassium (as bicarbonate and citrate)

Trade Names:
K•Lyte DS
- Tablets, effervescent 50 mEq potassium (from potassium bicarbonate and citrate and citric acid)

Trade Names:
K•Lyte/Cl 25
- Tablets, effervescent 25 mEq potassium (from potassium chloride and bicarbonate, I-lysine monohydrochloride, and citric acid)

Trade Names:
- Tablets, controlled-release 750 mg potassium chloride (equiv. to 10 mEq)

Trade Names:
- Powder 20 mEq potassium and chloride from 1.5 g potassium chloride

Trade Names:
Kaon Cl-10
- Tablets, controlled-release 750 mg potassium chloride (equiv. to 10 mEq)

Trade Names:
Kay Ciel
- Powder 20 mEq potassium chloride per packet

Trade Names:
- Powder 20 mEq potassium chloride per packet
- Powder 25 mEq potassium chloride per packet

Trade Names:
Klor-Con 8
- Tablets, controlled-release 600 mg potassium chloride (equiv. to 8 mEq)

Trade Names:
Klor-Con 10
- Tablets, controlled-release 750 mg potassium chloride (equiv. to 10 mEq)

Trade Names:
- Tablets, effervescent 25 mEq potassium (as bicarbonate and citrate)

Trade Names:
Klor-Con M10
- Tablets, extended-release 10 mEq potassium (from 750 mg potassium chloride)

Trade Names:
Klor-Con M15
- Tablets, extended-release 15 mEq potassium (from 1,125 mg potassium chloride)

Trade Names:
Klor-Con M20
- Tablets, extended-release 20 mEq potassium (from 1,500 mg potassium chloride)

Trade Names:
- Tablets, controlled-release 750 mg potassium chloride (equiv. to 10 mEq)

Trade Names:
Micro-K Extencaps
- Capsules, controlled-release 600 mg microencapsulated potassium chloride (equiv. to 8 mEq potassium)
- Capsules, controlled-release 750 mg microencapsulated potassium chloride (equiv. to 10 mEq potassium)

Trade Names:
Potassium Chloride
- Liquid 40 mEq per 15 mL potassium and chloride

Trade Names:
Potassium Chloride
- Injection 2 mEq/mL

APO-K (Canada)
K-10 (Canada)
K-Dur (Canada)
K-Lyte/Cl ()

Mechanism of Action


Major intracellular cation, essential in maintaining acid base balance and isotonicity within cells. Functions in muscle contraction, nerve impulse transmission, gastric secretion, renal function and metabolism.



Absorbed from the GI tract.


Renal (90%), fecal (10%), and a small extent in perspiration.

Indications and Usage

Treatment of hypokalemia; prevention of potassium depletion in certain conditions. Parenterally, as prophylaxis or treatment of moderate to severe potassium loss when oral therapy is not adequate or feasible.

Unlabeled Uses

Treatment of thallium poisoning; with anticholinesterase agents in myasthenia gravis.


Severe renal function impairment with concomitant azotemia or oliguria; hyperkalemia; diseases in which high potassium levels may be present include: renal failure and conditions in which potassium retention is present; anuria; trauma with muscle destruction; severe hemolytic reactions; adrenocortical insufficiency; heat cramps; acute dehydration; adynamica episodica hereditaria; early postoperative oliguria (except during GI drainage); use of potassium-sparing diuretics.

Dosage and Administration


PO 20 to 100 mEq in divided doses. IV 10 to 40 mEq/h.


PO 2 to 3 mEq/kg in divided doses.

General Advice

  • Do not give tablets to patients who have physical conditions that may slow or stop tablet in GI track; use properly diluted concentrate form.
  • Use whole tablets; do not crush or split tablets. Do not allow patient to chew or suck tablets.
  • Administer tablets after meals or with food and full glass of water.
  • Mix or dissolve completely oral liquids, soluble powders, or effervescent tablets in 3 to 8 oz of cold water, juice, or other beverage, and have patient drink slowly to minimize GI irritation.
  • Do not give via IM route.
  • Do not exceed IV administration rate of 20 mEq/h and concentration of 40 mEq/L without performing cardiac monitoring. Rapid infusion may cause local pain; reduce rate to relieve irritation.
  • Dilute parenteral concentrates before use. Direct injection may be instantly fatal.

Drug Interactions


Cardiac arrhythmias may occur with potassium imbalance.

Potassium-sparing diuretics

Severe hyperkalemia may occur.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions




Abdominal discomfort or distention; GI obstruction; bleeding; ulceration or perforation; nausea; vomiting; flatulence.


Oliguria; anuria.


Hyperkalemia (symptoms may include paresthesia of extremities; listlessness; confusion; weak or heavy limbs; flaccid paralysis; hypotension; arrhythmias; heart block; cardiac arrest; prolonged QT interval; wide QRS complex; peaked T waves; ST depression.



Category C .




Safety and efficacy not established.

Special Risk Patients

Administer with caution to elderly patients or patients with decreased renal function. Use with caution in patients with cardiac disease.

GI lesions

May cause stenotic or ulcerative lesions of the small bowel and death. Discontinue immediately if bowel obstruction or perforation is suspected.


May produce hyperkalemia or cardiac arrest in patients with impaired potassium excretion.



ECG changes, ventricular fibrillation, death, muscle weakness that may progress to paralysis of diaphragm.

Patient Information

  • Instruct patient to take oral medication after meals or with food and full glass of water.
  • Advise patient to swallow tablets whole, without chewing, sucking, or crushing.
  • Warn patient not to use salt substitutes and to avoid salt-free food unless approved by health care provider.
  • Advise patients taking time-released drug that wax matrix may appear in stool. Emphasize that this is normal.
  • Explain importance of avoiding ingestion of large amounts of potassium through excessive intake of foods such as avocados, bananas, broccoli, dried fruits, grapefruit, oranges, beans, nuts, spinach, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds.
  • Instruct patient to promptly report the following symptoms to health care provider: Severe nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, black stools, tingling of hands and feet, unusual fatigue or weakness, or feeling of heaviness in legs.

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