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Potassium chloride Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings

Potassium chloride is also known as: Epiklor, K + Potassium, K-8, K-Dur, K-Dur 10, K-Dur 20, K-Lor, K-Norm, K-Tab, KCl, Kal Potassium 99, Kaochlor, Kaon-CI, Kato, Kay Ciel, Klor-Con, Klor-Con 10, Klor-Con 8, Klor-Con M10, Klor-Con M20, Klor-Con/25, Klotrix, Micro-K, Micro-K 10, Slow-K

Potassium chloride Pregnancy Warnings

Potassium chloride is a naturally-occurring molecule. If potassium replacement is necessary in a pregnant patient, close attention to the maternal serum potassium concentration is recommended due to the risk of maternal and fetal cardiac arrhythmias associated with abnormal serum potassium concentrations. Data from the Michigan Medicaid Birth Defects Study, in which 104,339 deliveries between 1980 and 1983 and 229,101 deliveries between 1985 to 1992 were retrospectively studied, reveal inconsistencies with respect to the association of potassium chloride and birth defects (written communication, Frank Rosa, MD, Food and Drug Administration, 1994). In these two studies, 116 and 166 women were exposed to potassium chloride during gestation, respectively. Of the 116 women from the 1980 to 1983 period, 14 defects were observed (7 were expected), 4 of which were cardiovascular abnormalities (1 was expected). Of the 166 women from the 1985 to 1992 period, 8 defects were observed (7 were expected), none of which were cardiovascular abnormalities. There were no cases of cleft palate from either period studied. While the older data seem to support an association between potassium chloride and birth defects, the latter data do not provide evidence of a statistically significant association. There are no data regarding the effects of potassium chloride on duration of labor, type of necessary delivery procedure, maternal and neonate responses, and consequent child development when administered intravenously during labor and delivery. Close monitoring of both maternal and neonatal fluid balance, glucose and electrolyte concentrations, and acid-base balance is recommended when administering potassium chloride intravenously during labor and delivery.

Potassium chloride has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA. Animal studies have failed to reveal evidence of teratogenicity. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Some experts consider potassium replacement to be relatively safe for pregnant women when indicated. Potassium chloride should only be given during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk.

Potassium chloride Breastfeeding Warnings

Human milk is naturally low in potassium, averaging approximately 13 mEq/L. There are no reports of adverse effects associated with potassium salts in the nursing infant, and they are considered unlikely as long as the maternal serum potassium level is not excessive. One manufacturer recommends caution when administering intravenous potassium chloride solutions to a nursing female.

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