IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
POTASSIUM CHLORIDE EXTENDED-RELEASE TABLET - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): K-Dur, Klor-Con M
USES: This medication is a mineral supplement used to prevent or treat low amounts of potassium in the blood. A normal level of potassium in the blood is important so that your cells, nerves, heart, muscles, and kidneys work properly. Most people would get enough potassium by eating a well-balanced diet. However, certain situations cause your body to lose potassium faster than you can replace it from your diet. These situations include treatment with certain "water pills" (diuretics), a poor diet, or certain medical conditions (such as severe diarrhea, especially with vomiting).
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor.
To prevent stomach upset, take each dose with a meal and a full glass (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) of water or other liquid unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for 10 minutes after taking this medication. Do not take this medication on an empty stomach. Dividing your dose so that you can take smaller doses (2 to 4 times a day) may also reduce stomach upset. Consult your pharmacist for help with properly dividing your dose. Do not take more than 20 milliequivalents in a single dose.
Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush, chew, or suck on the tablets. Doing so may cause side effects.
If you have difficulty swallowing whole tablets, you may break the tablet in half and take each half separately, drinking a glass of water after each half-tablet. Take your entire dose within a few minutes. You may also dissolve the whole tablet in half a glass (4 ounces or 120 milliliters) of water. Allow about 2 minutes for the tablet to dissolve, then stir the mixture for 30 seconds and drink all of it immediately. Use a straw if desired. Add 1 more ounce (30 milliliters) of water to the glass, swirl, and drink immediately. Repeat one more time to make sure you are getting all of the drug. Do not save the mixture for future use. Do not use a liquid other than water for mixing this drug.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may order blood tests (potassium levels) to find the right dose for you.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. Too much potassium in the blood can cause serious side effects.
Tell your doctor if symptoms of low potassium blood levels (such as muscle weakness, tiredness, irregular heartbeat) persist or worsen.
SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, gas, abdominal pain/discomfort, and diarrhea may occur. See How to Use section for ways to reduce stomach upset. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: difficult/painful swallowing, feeling as if the tablet is stuck in your throat.
This drug may rarely cause serious stomach or intestinal problems (such as bleeding, blockage, puncture). Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: black/bloody stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dizziness, constipation, abdominal swelling.
This medication may cause high potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle cramps/weakness, severe dizziness, confusion, tingling hands/feet, slow/irregular heartbeat, unusually cold skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a high level of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems (such as atrioventricular block), certain muscle problem (familial periodic paralysis), kidney problems (such as chronic renal failure, inability to make urine), heat cramps, a severe loss of body water (dehydration), severe tissue damage (such as burns, injury), stomach/intestinal ulcer, metabolic problems (such as metabolic acidosis, diabetic acidosis), a certain adrenal gland problem (Addison's disease).
Certain types of potassium chloride tablets, when swallowed whole, have rarely caused esophagus/stomach/intestinal ulcers and bleeding. To reduce the risk of these side effects, taking liquid or effervescent forms of potassium chloride are preferred. If you have blockage/narrowing/slowed movement of the esophagus/stomach/intestines (such as diabetic gastroparesis, esophageal compression due to an enlarged heart), you are at greater risk for these side effects. Therefore, you should use liquid or effervescent forms, or follow the directions in the How to Use section for dissolving this medication in water.
Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk. There have been no reports of potassium harming a nursing infant in mothers with a normal potassium level. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before taking potassium supplements, check with your doctor if you are taking other medications/products that may also increase the potassium level in your blood. Too much potassium in the blood may cause serious side effects. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully, and continue using other medications for your condition as directed. Keep all medical/laboratory appointments so your doctor can monitor your potassium levels. Consult with your doctor if you are taking any of the following: ACE inhibitors (such as captopril and enalapril), ARBs (such as losartan, valsartan), drospirenone, eplerenone, potassium-sparing "water pills"/diuretics (such as amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene), other products that contain potassium (such as salt substitutes).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: digoxin.
Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take medications that may slow the movement of potassium tablets in your digestive system, possibly increasing the risk of side effects. These drugs include: anticholinergic drugs (such as atropine, scopolamine), certain antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine), antispasmodic drugs (such as dicyclomine, hyoscyamine), certain anti-Parkinson's drugs (such as benztropine, trihexyphenidyl), belladonna alkaloids, bladder control drugs (such as oxybutynin, tolterodine).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose (too much potassium) may include: muscle cramps/weakness, severe dizziness, confusion, tingling hands/feet, slow/irregular heartbeat, unusually cold skin, heart attack.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as potassium blood levels, kidney function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Eat a well-balanced diet. Discuss your intake of foods that contain potassium with your doctor. Foods high in potassium include: bananas, citrus fruits, watermelon, cantaloupe, raisins, dates, prunes, avocados, apricots, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, potatoes, yams, lentils, fish, chicken, turkey, ham, beef, and milk. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about your specific dietary plan.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Different brands have different storage requirements, so consult your pharmacist for more information. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised February 2011 Copyright(c) 2011 First DataBank, Inc.