If you have been diagnosed with hypokalemia, your doctor may prescribe Potassium Chloride Solution or generic Potassium Chloride while finding the cause of this deficiency. The more common reasons for becoming hypokalemic are taking diuretics (water pills), diarrhea, and chronic laxative abuse. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
This abuse usually stems from eating disorders and because there is little actual food in a laxative-induced bowel movement, your body loses vital minerals, electrolytes, and water along with indigestible fiber and waste from your colon. Other reasons for hypokalemia can include chronic kidney disease, diabetic ketoacidosis, and excessive sweating called hyperhidrosis.
Normal daily intake of potassium usually comes from your diet. This may include fresh fruits or vegetables such as bananas, avocados, beets, tomatoes, and mushrooms or meat and juices, including turkey, beef, fish and grapefruit or prune juice. Potassium Chloride Solution is measured out and added to about four ounces of water that you drink with or immediately following a meal. Steer clear of eating pre-packaged foods as they are quite high in sodium. It’s important that you maintain the proper balance of sodium and potassium for a healthy heart.
The symptoms of hypokalemia include muscle weakness, aches or cramps, and irregular heartbeats. When your body loses potassium due to a short-term sickness, such as the flu, your body compensates for the potassium loss. But if you have a long term medical condition you may need potassium replacement treatments. Potassium is an essential electrolyte that is responsible for conducting nerve impulses and muscle contractions; it controls the flow of fluids and nutrients into and out of your body cells, and helps regulate your blood pressure.
Ask your doctor if taking Potassium Chloride Solution is safe if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Discuss other medical conditions or allergies you have with your doctor and list any Rx drugs or non-prescription medications you take, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements so it can be determined if Potassium Chloride Solution is right for you.
Do not suddenly stop taking Potassium Chloride Solution without first talking with your doctor as your condition could worsen. Do not skip or miss any lab or doctor appointments while taking Potassium Chloride Solution because regular testing is important to monitor your potassium levels. Until you know how Potassium Chloride Solution will affect your body, avoid driving or taking part in any tasks that may be considered unsafe if you are not observant.