Generic Name: potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride (poe TASS ee um bye KAR boe nate and poe TASS ee um KLOR ide)Brand names: Effervescent Potassium/Chloride, K-Lyte/Cl, K-Lyte/Cl 50
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 bicarbonate and 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 bicarbonate and potassium chloride may also be used for other purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride?You should not use this medication if you have kidney failure, Addison's disease, severe burns or other tissue injury, if you are dehydrated, if you take certain diuretics (water pills), or if you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia). Do not chew the effervescent tablet or swallow it whole. It must be dissolved in water or fruit juice before you take it. Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after you take this medication. Take this medication with food or just after a meal.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG), which measures electrical activity of the heart. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with potassium. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Serious side effects of potassium include uneven heartbeat, muscle weakness or limp feeling, severe stomach pain, and numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or mouth.Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking potassium suddenly, your condition may become worse.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride?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);
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 bicarbonate and potassium chloride, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
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 bicarbonate and 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 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.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.Do not chew the effervescent tablet or swallow it whole. Drop the tablet into a glass and add at least 4 ounces (one-half cup) of cold water or fruit juice. When the tablet has completely dissolved, begin drinking the mixture slowly, over 5 to 10 minutes in all.
To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.The powder form of this medication should be mixed with at least 4 ounces (one-half cup) of cold water or fruit juice before taking. Drink the mixture slowly, over 5 to 10 minutes in all. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away. Take this medication with food or just after a meal. Your treatment may include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you should eat or avoid to help control your condition.
Potassium-rich foods include: squash, baked potatoes (skin on), spinach, lentils, broccoli, brussels sprouts, zucchini, kidney or navy beans, raisins, watermelon, orange juice, bananas, cantaloupe, and low-fat milk or yogurt. Consume only the daily amounts recommended by your doctor or nutrition counselor.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) to measure electrical activity of the heart. This test will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with potassium. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking potassium suddenly, your condition may become worse. Store potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in a closed container.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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.
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.
confusion, anxiety, feeling like you might pass out;
extreme thirst, increased urination;
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; or
slight tingling in your hands or feet.
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.
The following drugs can interact with potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:
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 bicarbonate and 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.