Potassium chloride - oral


Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Potassium chloride is used to treat or prevent low potassium levels in the blood.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Potassium chloride exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

Take it together with food or immediately after a meal.

This medicine is available as a conventional tablet/capsule, extended-release tablet/capsule or as a powder for oral solution.

If you are taking the extended-release type of tablet or capsule (usually labeled as “ER”), swallow it whole with a glass of water. Do not divide, chew, or crush the tablet or capsule.

If necessary, the capsules may also be opened, and the contents may be sprinkled on a spoonful of applesauce or pudding. The mixture should be swallowed immediately without chewing.

If you are taking the powder for oral solution, dissolve the contents of one packet in at least 120 mL of cold water or other beverage such as fruit juices. Stir to disperse the powder evenly then drink the solution immediately.

The dose of Potassium chloride will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the course of treatment depending on your condition and blood potassium levels.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • high potassium levels in the blood
  • high chloride levels in the blood
  • abnormal body acidity
  • dehydration
  • severe burns or other serious injury
  • Addison's disease (a rare disorder where the adrenal glands produce insufficient hormones) 
  • severe kidney problems
  • blockage of the food passage, stomach or gut due to the use of certain medicines or certain conditions like gastroparesis (delayed emptying of food into the stomach)
as this medicine may not be suitable for you.

Do not take Potassium chloride with certain water pills or medicines for water retention, such as spironolactone, amiloride, and triamterene.
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • imbalance in blood pH (acid-base)
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Potassium chloride to a child. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Routine tests (e.g. blood electrolytes levels, kidney function, ECG [test used to record the electrical activity of the heart]) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
  • Regular monitoring for changes in your fluid and heart status may also be needed.
What side effects could I experience?
Potassium chloride may cause any of the following side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach wind, and abdominal pain or discomfort.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • muscle weakness, cramping or numbness; fast or irregular heartbeat
  • passing out bloody stools or black as tar; vomiting blood or ground coffee-like material
  • rashes, breathlessness, swelling of the face, eyes or mouth
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Do not take Potassium chloride with certain water pills or medicines for water retention, such as spironolactone, amiloride, and triamterene.

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • certain medicines for high blood pressure e.g. captopril, enalapril, aliskiren
  • NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. ibuprofen, mefenamic acid
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol.

Avoid taking too much food that is high in potassium, such as orange juice, bananas or prunes.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light and moisture.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on potassium chloride - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2020 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
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