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K-Tab

Generic Name: potassium chloride (poe TASS ee um)
Brand Name: Kal Potassium 99, Klor-Con, K-Tab

Medically reviewed on May 30, 2018

What is K-Tab?

Potassium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is needed for several functions of your body, especially the beating of your heart.

K-Tab is used to prevent or to treat low blood levels of potassium (hypokalemia). Potassium levels can be low as a result of a disease or from taking certain medicines, or after a prolonged illness with diarrhea or vomiting.

K-Tab may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use K-Tab if you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia), or if you also take a "potassium-sparing" diuretic.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use K-Tab if you are allergic to it, or if:

  • you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia); or

  • you take a "potassium-sparing" diuretic (water pill) such as amiloride, spironolactone, or triamterene.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are nursing. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take K-Tab?

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.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Take K-Tab with a full glass of water. Take the medicine with food or just after a meal.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Do not crush, chew, or suck on a potassium tablet or capsule. Sucking on the pill could irritate your mouth or throat.

Call your doctor if you have trouble swallowing a K-Tab capsule or tablet. You may be able to dissolve the tablet in water, or mix the medicine from a capsule with soft food. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions.

You may need frequent medical tests. Your heart function may need to be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if K-Tab is effective.

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

Potassium-rich foods include: squash, baked potatoes (skin on), spinach, lentils, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, kidney or navy beans, raisins, watermelon, orange juice, bananas, cantaloupe, and low-fat milk or yogurt. Consume only the daily amounts recommended by your doctor or nutrition counselor.

Some tablets are made with a shell that is not absorbed or melted in the body. Part of this shell may appear in your stool. This is normal and will not make the medicine less effective.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication in a closed container.

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 irregular heartbeats, chest pain, or muscle weakness.

What should I avoid while taking K-Tab?

Do not use potassium supplements or other products that contain potassium, unless your doctor has told you to. Salt substitutes or low-salt foods often contain potassium. Read the label of any food or medicine to see if it contains potassium.

K-Tab 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.

Stop using K-Tab and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe throat irritation;

  • stomach bloating, severe vomiting, severe stomach pain;

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

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Common side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;

  • gas, stomach pain; or

  • the appearance of a K-Tab tablet in your stool.

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 K-Tab?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • a diuretic or "water pill"; or

  • heart or blood pressure medication.

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

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.

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