Potassium citrate Side Effects

It is possible that some side effects of potassium citrate 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 potassium citrate: oral patch extended release, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

As well as its needed effects, potassium citrate may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking potassium citrate, check with your doctor immediately:

Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking potassium citrate, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • confusion
  • difficult breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • shortness of breath
  • weakness or heaviness of the legs

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to potassium citrate: compounding powder, oral liquid, oral tablet extended release


Metabolic side effects have been reported rarely. Hyperkalemia may cause life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, and can occur even when renal function is normal. Patients should not use potassium-rich salt substitutes without the advice of their healthcare professional during potassium citrate therapy. Long-term therapy can result in metabolic alkalosis.

Signs of hyperkalemia include muscle weakness (including frank skeletal muscle and diaphragm paralysis), peaked T waves on the ECG, and cardiac arrhythmias.


Gastrointestinal (GI) side effects have been reported the most frequently. These have included nausea, vomiting, and epigastric or abdominal pain (in 3% to 17% of patients). GI side effects may be lessened by taking the drug with meals.

There are numerous reports of GI ulceration and rare reports of gastric or small bowel obstruction associated with the use of solid potassium salt preparations. Patients at higher risk of GI lesions include the elderly and patients with scleroderma, diabetes mellitus, mitral valve replacement, cardiomegaly, esophageal stricture, or impaired GI motility or diverticulae.

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