Potassium is important for various functions of your body, especially the heart. It helps the heart, cells, kidneys, nerves, and muscles function correctly.
You can get enough level of potassium by eating food rich in it or a well-balanced diet.
Some illnesses that can reduce your body’s level of potassium involve:
- prolonged severe vomiting and diarrhoea
- hormone problems like hyperaldosteronism
- medical care with diuretics or water pills
- Upset stomach
Numerous people don’t have severe adverse effects when using this medication. If some of these adverse effects persist or aggravate, consult your doctor immediately.
When to call a doctor
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Feeling like a tablet stuck in the throat
- Vomit that has a color of coffee grounds
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Black or tarry stools
- Symptoms of severe allergic reactions. Example: rash, itching, or swelling in the face/tongue/throat, severe dizziness, and difficulty breathing.
However, it is rare for this medication to have a severe allergic reaction.
Indication and dosage
Potassium chloride comes in the form of a tablet. It can be taken orally and as prescribed by the doctors.
Take each dose of potassium chloride with a meal and a full glass of water to avoid an upset stomach. A full glass of water is 8 ounces or 240 milliliters. After taking it, don’t lie down.
Do not smash, chew, or suck on the tablet because it can increase the risk of adverse reactions.
You may split the tablet into half if you are having difficulties swallowing it up. Then, take each half with a full glass of water. Another way to take it is to dissolve it in a half glass of water. A half glass of water is 4 ounces or 120 millilitres. After dissolving it for about 2 minutes, stir well for 30 seconds then drink. Then, add more ounce or 30 millilitres of water to the glass, stir, and drink. Do it one more time to make sure that you take all medicine. When preparing the mixture, you should only use water and should be taken immediately after. For any clarifications and questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take the medication routinely to get the most out of it. Taking it the same time every day will help you remember it. The dosage depends on your medical problem and reaction to the medication.
Take it as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t take it more than what is prescribed. As per dose, don’t get more than 20 milliequivalents.
Consult your doctor if:
- your condition doesn’t become better
- when symptoms of low potassium persist
Symptoms of low potassium to look out for: irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, or weakness.
Extended-release capsules (long-acting oral dosage)
Adults and teenagers can take 40 to 100 milliequivalents (mEq) each day to replace lost potassium. They can take 16 to 24 mEq each day to prevent lost potassium. They can also take 6.7 to 20 mEq. It is taken three times a day to prevent or replace lost potassium.
It can be split into two or three smaller doses in a day. Depending on your body needs, your doctor may change it. But, almost all people will not get it more than 100 milliequivalents each day.
Your doctor should decide the dose in children.
Liquid for a solution (long-acting oral dosage)
Adults and teenagers can take 20 mEq mixed in one-half glass of cold water or juice to prevent or replace lost potassium. It is taken one to four times a day. If necessary, your doctor may change it. You should not take more than 100 mEq a day.
Children’s dose will be determined on body weight and by your doctor. The common dose is 1 to 3 mEq of potassium per kilogram. 0.45 to 1.36 mEq per pound of child’s body weight. It should be taken in smaller doses in a day.
Liquid for solution should be mixed and blended well in water or juice.
Powder for solution (oral dosage)
Adults and teenagers can take 15 to 25 mEq. The powder should be dissolved in four to six ounces of cold water. It is taken two or four times a day. As usual, the doctor may change the dose only if necessary. Do not take more than 100 mEq in a day.
Children’s dose is based on weight and should be advised by the doctor. The common dose is the same as the liquid for solution, long-acting oral dosage. Still, the solution should be mixed well with water or juice.
Powder for suspension (oral dosage)
Adults and teenagers can take 20 mEq to prevent or replace potassium lost by the body. The powder should be dissolved in two to six ounces of cold water. It is taken one to five times a day. The doctor may change the dose. You should not take more than 100 mEq a day.
Just like in extended-release capsules, children’s dose must be decided by the doctor.
Liquid for solution (oral dosage)
Adults and teenagers can take 20 mEq mixed in one-half glass of cold water or juice to prevent or replace lost potassium. It is taken two to four times a day. If needed, your doctor may change it. You should not take more than 100 mEq a day.
Children’s dose will be based on body weight and by your doctor. The common dose is 2 to 3 mEq of potassium per kilogram. 0.9 to 1.36 mEq per pound of child’s body weight. It should be taken in smaller doses in a day. The solution must be mixed well.
Tablets (oral dosage)
Adults and teenagers can take 5 to 10 mEq. It is taken 2 to 4 times a day. It should not be taken more than 100 mEq a day.
Your doctor must give a child’s dose.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your allergies and medical history before taking potassium chloride. It is important to tell them if you have heart and kidney problems. Also, don’t forget to tell if you have high levels of potassium in your blood.
This medication may consist of inactive ingredients. This can cause allergic reactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to know more.
It is preferred to take the liquid form of potassium because of rare reports. It is about stomach or intestinal ulcers and bleeding with sustained-release potassium products. Tell them if you have throat, stomach, or intestinal problems like ulcers.
If you will undergo surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products that you are taking. This includes prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products.
Before considering taking potassium supplements or anything that contain potassium, consult with your doctor. Too much potassium may lead to severe adverse reactions.
This medication should only be used when needed, especially during pregnancy. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor.
Consult your doctor before taking this medication if you are a lactating mother. It is because potassium can pass into breast milk.
OVERDOSE AND CONTRAINDICATIONS
You should not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and medical tests should be done regularly to check for side effects and your progress. Tests like potassium blood level and kidney tests should be performed. Always consult your doctor.
This medication is taken orally and as prescribed by your doctor. Take this with a meal and a glass of water.
Do not smash, chew, or suck on the tablet.
There are ways to take this medication if you are having difficulties swallowing it. You may break this in half or dissolve it in a half glass of water.
Take this medication to prevent or replenish potassium in the body. Take it regularly. Only take what is prescribed by your doctor. Do not increase the dose. Doctors can only change the dose depending on your body’s needs.
Tell or consult your doctor if your condition does not improve.