Generic Name : POTASSIUM
Pronunciation : (poe tass' i um)
Trade Name(s) : Allyte-C, Cerelyte, Electral, Electrobion, Emlyte-S, Keylyte, Orfiz, Potklor, Ricetral, Walyte
Why it is prescribed: Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, kidneys, muscles, nerves, and digestive system. Usually the food you eat supplies all of the potassium you need. However, certain diseases (e.g., kidney disease and gastrointestinal disease with vomiting and diarrhea) and drugs, especially diuretics, remove potassium from the body. Potassium supplements are taken to replace potassium losses and prevent potassium deficiency.
When it is to be taken: Potassium usually is taken two to four times a day, with or immediately after meals. Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand.
How it should be taken:
1. Potassium comes in the form of oral liquid, powder, granules, effervescent tablets, extended-release tablets and capsules, and coated tablets. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose.
2. Take all forms of potassium with a full glass of water or fruit juice. You may obtain a specially marked measuring spoon to be sure of an accurate dose of the liquid.
3. Swallow extended-release tablets and capsules and coated tablets whole. Do not chew them or dissolve them in your mouth.
Special Instruction :
1. Do not take more medication than as instructed. Taking too much potassium can be dangerous.
2. Your doctor will want to monitor your response to this drug. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. You may have electrocardiograms and blood tests to see if your dose needs to be changed.
3. Special dietary instructions should be followed. If you are using a salt substitute, tell your doctor. Many salt substitutes contain potassium. Your doctor will consider this source in determining your dose of potassium supplement. Your doctor may advise you to use a potassium-containing salt substitute and to eat potassium-rich foods (e.g., bananas, prunes, raisins, and milk).
4. If you forget to take a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it and take any remaining doses for that day at evenly spaced intervals. Do not take a double dose.
Side Effects :
1. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort. Take the medication with or after meals with a full glass of water or fruit juice. If these problems continue, contact your doctor.
2. If you take extended-release tablets or capsules and experience severe vomiting and abdominal pain and enlargement, stop taking the drug and contact your doctor immediately.
3. Mental confusion; listlessness; tingling, prickling, burning, tight, or pulling sensation of arms, hands, legs, or feet; heaviness or weakness of legs; cold, pale, gray skin. Stop taking the drug and contact your doctor at once. These symptoms may indicate that your dose is too high.
Other Precautions :
1. Before you take potassium, tell your doctor if you have heart, kidney, or Addison's disease or if you are allergic to aspirin or tartrazine.
2. Before you take potassium, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, especially diuretics.
3. Do not take potassium if you are taking amiloride, spironolactone, or triamterene.
4. If you are taking another medication with the potassium supplement and then stop taking this other medication, ask your doctor whether you should continue to take the potassium supplement.
5. Be sure that you have enough potassium on hand at all times to permit you to take all of the doses prescribed.
6. Do not allow anyone else to take your medication.
Storage Conditions :
1. Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of the reach of children.
2. Store it according to the directions on the container.