What is potassium chloride, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Potassium preparations are used for
supplementing potassium in order to treat or prevent low potassium levels in the
Potassium is a major mineral (electrolyte)
that is important for the function of every cell in the body. For example, it is
important in nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and kidney function. Normal
daily dietary intake of potassium is 40-150 mEq. Potassium deficiency occurs
when potassium loss exceeds intake. Potassium depletion may be caused by
ketoacidosis, diuretics (for example,
[Lasix]), starvation, and rare disorders of the adrenal glands. Potassium
rhythm problems, paralysis, and kidney dysfunction.
What brand names are available for potassium chloride?
K-Dur, KLor Con, K-Tab, (Kaon CL, Klorvess, Slow-K, Ten-K, Klotrix, K-Lyte CL are discontinued brands)
Is potassium chloride available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for potassium chloride?
What are the side effects of potassium chloride?
Common reactions to potassium are primarily gastrointestinal and include reactions such as:
More important side effects include high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), abnormal heart beats, bleeding or perforation of the stomach or small intestine from ulcers, and narrowing (stricture) of the small intestine from healed ulcers. Irritation and damage to the stomach can be reduced by taking potassium supplements with meals or reducing the dose.
According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.”
What is the dosage for potassium chloride?
The usual recommendation for treatment of hypokalemia in adults is
20-40 mEq 2 to 4 times daily. The dose for prevention is 20 mEq daily. Oral
potassium is usually taken with meals and fluids to prevent intestinal problems.
Controlled release tablets should be swallowed whole.
Is potassium chloride safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
If the mother's blood potassium level is normal, use of
potassium supplements should not adversely affect the infant.
What else should I know about potassium chloride?
What preparations of potassium chloride are available?
- Tablet: 20 mEq; Tablets (Extended release): 8, 10, 15, and 20
- Capsules: 8 and 10 mEq.
- Injection: 1, 1.5, 2, 3, and 4 mEq/ml;
container: 10, 20, 30, and 40 mEq.
How should I keep potassium chloride stored?
Potassium should be stored at room
temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).