What is potassium chloride?
Potassium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is needed for several functions of your body, especially the beating of your heart.
Potassium chloride is used to prevent or to treat low blood levels of potassium (hypokalemia). Potassium levels can be low as a result of a disease or from taking certain medicines, or after a prolonged illness with diarrhea or vomiting.
Potassium chloride may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have certain conditions. Be sure your doctor knows if you have:
- high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia);
- kidney failure;
- Addison's disease (an adrenal gland disorder);
- a large tissue injury such as a severe burn;
- if you are severely dehydrated; or
- if you are taking a "potassium-sparing" diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride (Midamor, Moduretic), spironolactone (Aldactone, Aldactazide), triamterene (Dyrenium, Dyazide, Maxzide).
Before using potassium chloride, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- kidney disease;
- heart disease or high blood pressure;
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines; or
- chronic diarrhea (such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease).
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take potassium chloride.
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 potassium chloride 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.
Avoid taking potassium supplements or using other products that contain potassium without first asking your doctor. Salt substitutes or low-salt dietary products often contain potassium. If you take certain products together you may accidentally get too much potassium. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains potassium.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include heavy feeling in your arms or legs, confusion, weak or shallow breathing, slow or uneven heartbeat, seizure (convulsions), or feeling like you might pass out.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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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.
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- confusion, anxiety, feeling like you might pass out;
- uneven heartbeat;
- extreme thirst, increased urination;
- leg discomfort;
- muscle weakness or limp feeling;
- numbness or tingly feeling in your hands or feet, or around your mouth;
- severe stomach pain, ongoing diarrhea or vomiting;
- black, bloody, or tarry stools; or
- coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild nausea or upset stomach;
- mild or occasional diarrhea;
- slight tingling in your hands or feet; or
- appearance of a potassium chloride tablet in your stool.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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The following drugs can interact with potassium chloride. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:
- eplerenone (Inspra);
- digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
- quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);
- a bronchodilator such as ipratroprium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
- an ACE inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), fosinopril (Monopril), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), or trandolapril (Mavik); or
- any type of diuretic (water pill) such as bumetanide (Bumex), chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Hygroton, Thalitone), ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Hyzaar, Lopressor, Vasoretic, Zestoretic), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Mykrox, Zarxolyn), or torsemide (Demadex).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with potassium chloride. 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.
Ed K+10, Glu-K, K-10, K-Dur 10, K-Dur 20, K-Lor, K-Norm, K-Sol, K-Tab, KCl, KCl-20, Kaochlor, Kaochlor S-F, Kaon-CI, Kaon-CL 10, Kaon-CL 20%, Kato, Kay Ciel, Klor-Con, Klor-Con 10, Klor-Con 8, Klor-Con M10, Klor-Con M15, Klor-Con M20, Klor-Con/25, Klotrix, Micro-K, Micro-K 10, PC-10, Rum-K, Slow-K, Ten-K, potassium chloride, Cena K, K-8, K + Potassium, and K-Vescent (Potassium Chloride)
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04