Kalexate Side Effects

Generic Name: sodium polystyrene sulfonate

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug sodium polystyrene sulfonate. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Kalexate.

It is possible that some side effects of Kalexate may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

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
  • cough producing mucus
  • difficulty with breathing
  • fever or chills
  • severe stomach pain
  • shortness of breath
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • tightness in the chest
  • troubled breathing
  • wheezing
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • convulsions
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • diarrhea
  • 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
  • tremor
  • 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
  • Dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle cramps
  • muscle spasms (tetany) or twitching
  • pounding or rapid pulse
  • seizures
  • trembling

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to sodium polystyrene sulfonate: oral suspension, oral and rectal powder, rectal enema

Gastrointestinal

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

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

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.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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