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Potassium supplements

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Potassium supplements should probably be tasted by doctors before they begin prescribing them as an alternative to other management of hypokalaemia. They taste disgusting, and are effervescent; these properties combine to render them strongly emetic.

The effervence is caused by bicarbonate, which worsens any associated alkalosis.

Slow K tablets are very large, and may cause GI ulceration; they should be taken with water when standing up.

Combination diuretics and potassium contain insufficient potassium to prevent significant hypokalaemia - 10 mmol instead of 40 to 60 mmol, and there is probably no rational indication for prescibing such drugs.

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