Kalexate Side Effects
Generic Name: sodium polystyrene sulfonate
Note: This page contains information about the side effects of sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Kalexate.
Not all side effects for Kalexate may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.
For the Consumer
Applies to sodium polystyrene sulfonate: oral powder for suspension, oral suspension
Other dosage forms:
In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by sodium polystyrene sulfonate (the active ingredient contained in Kalexate). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking sodium polystyrene sulfonate:Rare
- Bloody vomit
- chest pain
- cough producing mucus
- difficulty with breathing
- fever or chills
- severe stomach pain
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- tightness in the chest
- troubled breathing
- Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
- decrease in the amount of urine
- dry mouth
- increased thirst
- irregular heartbeats
- loss of appetite
- muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
- nausea or vomiting
- noisy, rattling breathing
- numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, or feet
- severe constipation
- swelling of the fingers, hands, feet, or lower legs
- troubled breathing at rest
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- weight gain
- weight loss
If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking sodium polystyrene sulfonate, get emergency help immediately:Symptoms of overdose
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- muscle cramps
- muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching
- pounding or rapid pulse
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to sodium polystyrene sulfonate: oral suspension, oral and rectal powder, rectal enema
Gastrointestinal side effects have included anorexia, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and fecal impaction. Occasionally, diarrhea may develop. Fatal intestinal necrosis has been associated rarely with rectal administration of sodium polystyrene sulfonate (the active ingredient contained in Kalexate) in sorbitol.
Large oral doses may lead to fecal impaction. Sorbitol given orally with the resin may help to decrease the frequency of constipation. Magnesium-containing laxatives should not be used.
Fatal intestinal necrosis has occurred primarily in patients with severe renal dysfunction receiving rectal administration. Intestinal necrosis occurred rapidly (usually within 1 to 2 days) and presented as abdominal pain and distention, ileus, fever, hypotension, and/or metabolic acidosis. The manufacturer recommends a sodium-free cleansing enema after the administration of rectal sorbitol to help prevent this complication. Alternatively, an aqueous vehicle (i.e., 1% methylcellulose or 10% dextrose) may be used instead of sorbitol. Sorbitol is not necessary for effective rectal use of sodium polystyrene sulfonate.
Metabolic side effects have included hypokalemia. Patients should be monitored closely to help prevent this effect. ECG, muscle weakness and mental status changes should be evaluated. Sodium retention, hypocalcemia, and hypomagnesemia may also occur. Metabolic alkalosis has been reported with the combined use of sodium polystyrene sulfonate (the active ingredient contained in Kalexate) and aluminum carbonate or magnesium hydroxide in renal failure patients.
Nervous system side effects have been reported rarely. These have included a case report of a grand mal seizure in a patient with chronic hypocalcemia of renal failure who was administered sodium polystyrene sulfonate (the active ingredient contained in Kalexate) and magnesium hydroxide. The magnesium was being used as a laxative.
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