Kalexate Side Effects
Generic name: sodium polystyrene sulfonate
Note: This document contains side effect information about sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Kalexate.
Some side effects of Kalexate may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.
For the Consumer
Applies to sodium polystyrene sulfonate: oral powder for suspension, oral suspension
Other dosage forms:
Along with its needed effects, sodium polystyrene sulfonate (the active ingredient contained in Kalexate) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while 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
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking sodium polystyrene sulfonate: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.
More Kalexate resources
- Kalexate Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Kalexate Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate Monograph (AHFS DI)
- Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
- Kayexalate Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Kayexalate powder MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Kionex Prescribing Information (FDA)
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