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Potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets

Generic Name: potassium bicarbonate (poe-TAS-ee-um bye-KAR-bo-nate)
Brand Name: Examples include Effer-K and Klor-Con/EF

Potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets is used for:

Preventing or treating low blood potassium levels when the amount of potassium in the diet is inadequate. It may also be used to treat low potassium levels caused by some diseases, severe or prolonged episodes of vomiting or diarrhea, certain medicines (eg, corticosteroids, diuretics), surgery, or other conditions. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets is a potassium supplement. It works by providing potassium when you have low levels of potassium in your blood.

Do NOT use potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets
  • you have high blood potassium levels or severe kidney problems
  • you have decreased urination or are unable to urinate

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets:

Some medical conditions may interact with potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems, high blood acid levels (eg, diabetic acidosis), heart problems (eg, heart failure), or adrenal gland problems
  • if you have stomach or bowel problems (eg, ulcer, diarrhea) or a urinary tract infection
  • if you are dehydrated or you have a condition in which your skin is breaking down (eg, severe burns)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Aldosterone blockers (eg, eplerenone), aliskiren, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, lisinopril), potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone, triamterene), or potassium supplements because the risk of high potassium levels, possibly with irregular heartbeat or a heart attack, may be increased
  • Digoxin because the risk of its side effects may be increased by potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets:

Use potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets by mouth with food or after a meal to prevent stomach upset.
  • Do not open the foil patch and remove the tablet until right before you take your dose.
  • Do not chew potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets or swallow it whole.
  • To take potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets, dissolve 1 tablet completely in 3 to 4 oz (90 to 120 mL) cold water. If your doctor has told you to use a different dose, ask your pharmacist how much water to use to dissolve the medicine.
  • Sip potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets slowly over a 5- to 10-minute period.
  • If you miss a dose of potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets.

Important safety information:

  • Potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it. Do not use a salt substitute or a potassium supplement without checking with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including blood potassium levels and electrocardiogram (ECG), may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets while you are pregnant. It is not known if potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are taking potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets.

Possible side effects of potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; nausea; stomach pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; dizziness; irregular heartbeat; listlessness; muscle cramps; numbness or tingling in your skin, lips, hands, or feet; shortness of breath; unusual confusion or anxiety; unusual tiredness or weakness; weak or heavy legs.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include abnormal skin sensations of the arms and legs; bloody stools; confusion; heaviness of limbs; slow or irregular heartbeat; slowed breathing rate; unusual tiredness or weakness.

Proper storage of potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets:

Store potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using potassium bicarbonate effervescent tablets.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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