Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

For patients taking the liquid form of this medicine:

  • This medicine must be diluted in at least one-half glass (4 ounces) of cold water or juice to reduce its possible stomach-irritating or laxative effect.
  • If you are on a salt (sodium)-restricted diet, check with your doctor before using tomato juice to dilute your medicine. Tomato juice has a high salt content.

For patients taking the soluble granule, soluble powder, or soluble tablet form of this medicine:

  • This medicine must be completely dissolved in at least one-half glass (4 ounces) of cold water or juice to reduce its possible stomach-irritating or laxative effect.
  • Allow any "fizzing" to stop before taking the dissolved medicine.
  • If you are on a salt (sodium)-restricted diet, check with your doctor before using tomato juice to dilute your medicine. Tomato juice has a high salt content.

For patients taking the extended-release tablet form of this medicine:

  • Swallow the tablets whole with a full (8-ounce) glass of water. Do not chew or suck on the tablet.
  • Some tablets may be broken or crushed and sprinkled on applesauce or other soft food. However, check with your doctor or pharmacist first, since this should not be done for most tablets.
  • If you have trouble swallowing tablets or if they seem to stick in your throat, check with your doctor. When this medicine is not properly released, it can cause irritation that may lead to ulcers.

For patients taking the extended-release capsule form of this medicine:

  • Do not crush or chew the capsule. Swallow the capsule whole with a full (8-ounce) glass of water.
  • Some capsules may be opened and the contents sprinkled on applesauce or other soft food. However, check with your doctor or pharmacist first, since this should not be done for most capsules.

Take this medicine immediately after meals or with food to lessen possible stomach upset or laxative action.

Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. This is especially important if you are also taking both diuretics (water pills) and digitalis medicines for your heart.

Dosing

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

For potassium bicarbonate

  • For oral dosage forms (tablets for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—25 to 50 milliequivalents (mEq) dissolved in one-half to one glass of cold water, taken one or two times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

For potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride

  • For oral dosage form (granules for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20 milliequivalents (mEq) dissolved in one-half to one glass of cold water, taken one or two times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For oral dosage form (tablets for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20, 25, or 50 mEq dissolved in one-half to one glass of cold water, taken one or two times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

For potassium bicarbonate and potassium citrate

  • For oral dosage form (tablets for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—25 or 50 milliequivalents (mEq) dissolved in one-half to one glass of cold water, taken one or two times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

For potassium chloride

  • For long-acting oral dosage form (extended-release capsules):
    • To replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—40 to 100 milliequivalents (mEq) a day, divided into two or three smaller doses during the day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
    • To prevent potassium loss:
      • Adults and teenagers—16 to 24 mEq a day, divided into two or three smaller doses during the day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For long-acting oral dosage forms (liquid for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20 mEq mixed into one-half glass of cold water or juice, taken one to four times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1 to 3 mEq of potassium per kilogram (kg) (0.45 to 1.36 mEq per pound) of body weight taken in smaller doses during the day. The solution should be well mixed in water or juice.
  • For oral dosage form (powder for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—15 to 25 mEq dissolved in four to six ounces of cold water, taken two or four times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1 to 3 mEq per kg (0.45 to 1.36 mEq per pound) of body weight taken in smaller doses during the day. The solution should be mixed into water or juice.
  • For oral dosage form (powder for suspension):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20 mEq dissolved in two to six ounces of cold water, taken one to five times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For long-acting oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—6.7 to 20 mEq taken three times a day. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.
  • For oral dosage form (liquid for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20 milliequivalents (mEq) mixed into one-half glass of cold water or juice, taken two to four times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 3 mEq per kilogram (kg) (0.9 to 1.36 mEq per pound) of body weight a day, taken in smaller doses during the day. The solution should be completely mixed into water or juice.
  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—5 to 10 mEq taken two to four times a day. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

For potassium gluconate and potassium chloride

  • For oral dosage form (liquid for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20 milliequivalents (mEq) diluted in 2 tablespoonfuls or more of cold water or juice, taken two to four times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 3 mEq per kilogram (kg) (0.9 to 1.36 mEq per pound) of body weight taken in smaller doses during the day. The solution should be well mixed into water or juice.
  • For oral dosage form (powder for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20 mEq mixed in 2 tablespoonfuls or more of cold water or juice taken two to four times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose is base on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 3 mEq per kg (0.9 to 1.36 mEq per pound) of body weight taken in smaller doses during the day. The solution should be well mixed into water or juice.

For potassium gluconate and potassium citrate

  • For oral dosage form (liquid for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—20 milliequivalents (mEq) mixed into one-half glass of cold water or juice, taken two to four times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 3 mEq per kg (0.9 to 1.36 mEq per pound) of body weight taken in smaller doses during the day. The solution should be well mixed into water or juice.

For trikates

  • For oral dosage form (liquid for solution):
    • To prevent potassium loss or replace potassium lost by the body:
      • Adults and teenagers—15 milliequivalents (mEq) mixed into one-half glass of cold water or juice, taken three or four times a day. Your doctor may change the dose if needed. However, most people will not take more than 100 mEq a day.
      • Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 to 3 mEq per kilogram (kg) (0.9 to 1.36 mEq per pound) of body weight taken in smaller doses during the day. The solution should be well mixed into water or juice.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.