Potassium citrate

Pronunciation

Generic Name: potassium citrate (poe-TASS-ee-um)
Brand Name: Urocit-K

Potassium citrate is used for:

Preventing certain types of kidney stones. It also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Potassium citrate is a urinary alkalinizing agent. It works by neutralizing some of the acid in the urine, which helps reduce the formation of crystals.

Do NOT use potassium citrate if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in potassium citrate
  • you have high potassium levels in the blood or aluminum toxicity
  • you have stomach ulcers, kidney disease, heart disease, a blockage in the intestines, or a urinary tract infection
  • you are currently taking aldosterone-blockers (eg, eplerenone), aluminum salts (eg, aluminum hydroxide), potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, triamterene), or anticholinergics (eg, atropine)

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

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Before using potassium citrate:

Some medical conditions may interact with potassium citrate. 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 heart problems, kidney problems, difficulty swallowing, a stomach blockage, or diabetes
  • if you have diarrhea or are dehydrated
  • if you have severe burns or other tissue damage, high acid levels in your blood, or adrenal gland problems

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

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), aldosterone blockers (eg, eplerenone), or potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, triamterene) because they may increase the risk of potassium citrate's side effects, especially on the heart
  • Aluminum salts (eg, aluminum-containing antacids), anticholinergics (eg, atropine), anorexiants (eg, phentermine), or certain stimulants (eg, albuterol, amphetamine, pseudoephedrine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by potassium citrate
  • Lithium or tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline) because their effectiveness may be decreased by potassium citrate

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if potassium citrate 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 citrate:

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

  • Take potassium citrate by mouth with food or within 30 minutes after meals or a bedtime snack.
  • Swallow potassium citrate whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or suck on the tablet before swallowing.
  • Take potassium citrate with a full glass of water (8 oz/240 mL). Do not lie down for 30 minutes after taking potassium citrate.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking potassium citrate is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • If you have trouble swallowing the tablet or if it seems to get stuck in your throat, contact your doctor.
  • If you miss a dose of potassium citrate, 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 citrate.

Important safety information:

  • Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
  • You may notice the tablet shell in your stool. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • Lab tests, including blood potassium levels, other blood electrolyte levels, and electrocardiogram (ECG), may be performed while you use potassium citrate. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using potassium citrate while you are pregnant. It is not known if potassium citrate is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use potassium citrate, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of potassium citrate:

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 or loose bowel movements; nausea; stomach pain; upset stomach; 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); black, tarry stools; confusion; severe stomach pain; tingling of hands or feet; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; weakness.

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 confusion; fainting; irregular heartbeat; sluggishness; weakness.

Proper storage of potassium citrate:

Store potassium citrate at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep potassium citrate out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about potassium citrate, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Potassium citrate 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 citrate 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 citrate. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to potassium citrate. 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 citrate.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
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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