Potassium Salts tablets, extended-release tablets or capsules
What do potassium tablets, extended-release tablets or capsules do?
POTASSIUM (K-Norm(R), K-Dur(R), Slow-K(R), Micro-K(R)) is a naturally occurring salt that is important for the normal functioning of the heart, muscles, and nerves. Too much or too little potassium in the body can cause serious problems. Potassium occurs naturally in many foods and is normally supplied by a balanced diet. Potassium supplements are used to treat potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) that occurs in certain illnesses or from use of certain medicines. Potassium comes as different salts and generic potassium salts are available in tablet form.
What should my health care professional know before I take potassium salts?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• stomach ulcers or other stomach problems
• kidney disease
• irregular heartbeat
• an unusual or allergic reaction to potassium salts, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
How should I take this medicine?
Take potassium tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow tablets or capsules whole with a full glass of water or juice (not tomato juice); take tablets or capsules in an upright or sitting position. If possible take bedtime doses at least 10 minutes before laying down. Do not crush or chew the sustained-release tablets or capsules. Taking a sip of water first, before taking the tablets or capsules, may help you swallow them. If you have difficulty swallowing you may be able to open the capsule and sprinkle the contents on applesauce or pudding, and swallow without chewing. Check with your pharmacist if you are not sure whether you are taking an extended-release preparation. If potassium upsets your stomach take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is more than 2 hours since your missed dose, skip that dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not take double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with potassium salts?
• antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen)
• beta blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems
• medicines for high blood pressure
• medicines for movement abnormalities as in Parkinson's disease, or for gastrointestinal problems
• penicillin G
• sodium polystyrene sulfonate
• water pills
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking potassium salts?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• black, tarry stools
• blood in the stools
• dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells
• irregular heartbeat
• muscle weakness
• numbness or tingling in hands or feet
• pain on swallowing
• severe vomiting
• stomach pain or bloating
• unusual tiredness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• nausea, vomiting