Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Descriptions


Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is used to treat high levels of potassium in the blood, also called hyperkalemia.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Enema

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of sodium polystyrene sulfonate in the pediatric population. However, pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of this medicine in children are not expected.

This medicine should be used with caution in newborn infants who have reduced or slow bowel movements.

Geriatric

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of sodium polystyrene sulfonate in geriatric patients.

Pregnancy

Information about this sodium-polystyrene-sulfonate-rectal-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Sorbitol

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Levothyroxine

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bowel blockage or
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Congestive heart failure, severe or
  • Edema (fluid retention) or
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., arrhythmia, QT prolongation) or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure), severe or
  • Hypocalcemia (low calcium in the blood) or
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood) or
  • Stomach or bowel problems (e.g., bleeding, colitis, constipation, perforation)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Proper Use

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is given as a rectal enema.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check you closely to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms: confusion, dry mouth, increased thirst, irregular heartbeat, irritability, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, or shortness of breath.

If you are taking aluminum or magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives, tell your doctor before using sodium polystyrene sulfonate. These medicines may keep sodium polystyrene sulfonate from working properly and may cause serious side effects.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare

  1. Bloody vomit
  2. chest pain
  3. cough
  4. cough producing mucus
  5. difficulty with breathing
  6. fever or chills
  7. severe stomach pain
  8. shortness of breath
  9. sneezing
  10. sore throat
  11. tightness in the chest
  12. troubled breathing
  13. wheezing

Incidence not known

  1. Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  2. confusion
  3. constipation
  4. convulsions
  5. decrease in the amount of urine
  6. diarrhea
  7. dry mouth
  8. increased thirst
  9. irregular heartbeats
  10. loss of appetite
  11. muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  12. nausea or vomiting
  13. noisy, rattling breathing
  14. numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
  15. severe constipation
  16. swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
  17. tremor
  18. troubled breathing at rest
  19. unusual tiredness or weakness
  20. weight gain
  21. weight loss

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose

  1. Dizziness
  2. drowsiness
  3. fainting
  4. fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  5. lightheadedness
  6. muscle cramps
  7. muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching
  8. pounding or rapid pulse
  9. seizures
  10. trembling

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.