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POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS - ORAL

(poh-TASS-ee-um)

Uses

This medication is used to prevent or treat low potassium blood levels caused by "water pills" (diuretics) or poor diet.

How To Use

To prevent stomach upset, take each dose with food or immediately after a meal. Sustained-release capsules and tablets must be swallowed whole. Do not crush or chew them as side effects may be increased. Take tablets or capsules with a full glass (8 oz or 240 ml) of water, unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking the tablet or capsule. The liquid and powder forms must be diluted in a full glass of cold water or juice before taking. Drink slowly.

Side Effects

May cause diarrhea, stomach upset, nausea or vomiting the first few days as your body adjusts to the medicine. Inform your doctor if you develop: breathing difficulties, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, confusion, tingling of the hands or feet, muscle weakness. If using potassium tablets or capsules, notify your doctor if the following effects occur: stomach pain, black stools. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Be sure your doctor knows your complete medical history especially of: kidney problems, heart disease, problems with digestion, any allergies. This medication should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Potassium supplements are not known to appear in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Inform your doctor about all the medicines you use (both prescription and nonprescription) especially if you take: "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide or amiloride), ACE inhibitors (e.g., lisinopril), digoxin, salt substitutes containing potassium. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include irregular heartbeat, blood in stools, and muscle weakness.

Notes

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.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered, if you should remember within 2 hours. If you do not remember until later, skip the missed dose and resume your usual schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Don't freeze liquid forms.