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Citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate

Generic name: citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate (SIT rik AS id, poe TASS ee um, and SOE dee um SI trate)
Brand name: Tricitrates, Polycitra, Polycitra-LC, Cytra-3
Dosage forms: oral liquid (334 mg-550 mg-500 mg/5 mL)
Drug class: Minerals and electrolytes

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Apr 20, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate?

Citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate is a combination medicine that helps make your urine less acidic. Sometimes called a urinary alkalizer, citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate is used to treat acidosis or to prevent gout or kidney stones.

Citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Warnings

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you have:

  • severe kidney disease;

  • decreased urination;

  • severe heart damage (such as from a prior heart attack);

  • untreated Addison's disease (an adrenal gland disorder); or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet or a low-potassium diet.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney problems;

  • heart problems, high blood pressure;

  • toxemia of pregnancy;

  • swelling in your hands or feet, or in your lungs (pulmonary edema); or

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or calcium in your blood).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How should I take citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

This medicine is usually taken after meals and at bedtime. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon). Mix the medicine with at least 4 ounces of water or juice. Stir and drink this mixture right away. Add a little more water to the glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking this medicine.

You may need to follow a special diet. Follow all instructions of your doctor or dietitian. Learn about the foods to eat or avoid to help control your condition.

You will need frequent blood and urine tests.

Store in a tightly-closed container at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and freezing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, unusual thoughts, or a seizure.

What should I avoid while taking citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate?

Ask your doctor before using an antacid, and use only the type your doctor recommends. Antacids that contain aluminum can interact with this medicine and cause serious side effects.

Avoid using potassium supplements or salt substitutes without your doctor's advice.

citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • swelling or severe pain in your stomach;

  • vomiting;

  • black or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or

  • high potassium level--nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting; or

  • diarrhea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect citric acid, potassium citrate, and sodium citrate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

More about citric acid / potassium citrate / sodium citrate

Patient resources

Other brands
Tricitrates, Virtrate-3

Related treatment guides

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.