Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Potassium (Supplement)

Potassium (Supplement)

Last updated on 18/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions   |   Tips   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Potassium

CHINESE NAME:

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Apo-K, Centrum 善存, Span-K

DRUG CLASS: Electrolyte 

USED FOR: Treatment and prevention of potassium deficiency

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Sodium, Calcium

What is Potassium for?

Potassium is an ion that is essential to maintain your body’s function. lt regulates the transmission of nerve signals, contraction of muscles and blood vessels, as well as acid-base regulation The latest recommended daily dietary intake of Potassium for adults is 3510 mg. 

Potassium usually appears as Potassium Chloride in supplements. You should only take a Potassium supplement when you have a Potassium deficiency or are unable to take sufficient Potassium from your diet. Symptoms of Potassium deficiency include irregular heart beats, fatigue, constipation and muscle weakness. Potassium deficiency can result in increased blood pressure and bone loss, as well as increased risks of kidney stones.

How to use it?

Potassium supplements are available in oral dosage forms like tablets. It can also be injected in hospitals when you are diagnosed with low potassium level.

If you are taking Potassium tablets for preventing low potassium levels, you should take 2-4 g daily with meals. 

If you are receiving Potassium injection in hospitals, the doses of Potassium depend on your extent of Potassium deficiency.

What are the side effects of Potassium?

Excess intake of Potassium by taking supplements is not common (which is usually caused by drugs or certain diseases). However, if this happens, it can cause side effects including stomach cramps, diarrhoea, flatulence, nausea and vomiting, irregular heart beats. Potassium toxicity is commonly caused by kidney failure.

Who should not take Potassium?

– People allergic to Potassium Chloride or any ingredient of the formulation
– Patients with high blood level of Potassium
– Patients with chronic or severe impairment in kidney function

Pharmacist Tips:

Most people should obtain adequate amounts of Potassium from a healthy diet. Potassium is present in many foods including fruits (especially bananas), vegetables, soybeans, kidney beans, meats and milk.

Common dosing schedule:
You should take Potassium with or immediately after a meal, and with a full glass of liquid to reduce gastrointestinal discomfort. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Potassium may interact with:
– Angiotensin II receptor blockers, e.g. Losartan, Valsartan
– Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, e.g. Enalapril, Lisinopril
– Heparin
– Potassium-sparing diuretics, e.g. Eplerenone, Spironolactone

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Potassium in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Potassium supplements can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. Potassium injection is a prescription only medicine, and patients can only receive the injection in the hospital. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Potassium in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.