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Poly-Citra K Crystals

Generic Name: citric acid and potassium citrate (SIT rik AS id and poe TASS ee um SIT rayt)
Brand Name: Cytra-K, Poly-Citra K Crystals, Polycitra-K

Medically reviewed on Dec 15, 2017

What is Poly-Citra K Crystals?

Citric acid is an alkalinizing agent that make the urine less acidic.

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.

The combination of citric acid and potassium citrate is used to treat or prevent hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood). Poly-Citra K Crystals is also used to treat digitalis overdose.

Poly-Citra K Crystals may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use this medication if you have kidney failure, a urinary tract infection, uncontrolled diabetes, a peptic ulcer in your stomach, Addison's disease, severe burns or other tissue injury, if you are dehydrated, if you take certain diuretics (water pills), or if you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia).

You should not take Poly-Citra K Crystals tablets if you have problems with your esophagus, stomach, or intestines that make it difficult for you to swallow or digest pills.

Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after you take this medication.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) to measure electrical activity of the heart. This test will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with potassium. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Serious side effects of citric acid and potassium citrate include uneven heartbeat, muscle weakness or limp feeling, severe stomach pain, and numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or around your mouth.

Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking potassium suddenly, your condition may become worse.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to it, or if you have certain conditions. Be sure your doctor knows if you have:

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

  • a serious heart rhythm disorder called ventricular fibrillation;

  • kidney failure with sodium loss;

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

  • a large tissue injury such as a severe burn; or

  • if you are severely dehydrated.

You should not take Poly-Citra K Crystals tablets if you have problems with your esophagus, stomach, or intestines that make it difficult for you to swallow or digest pills.

Before using Poly-Citra K Crystals, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take Poly-Citra K Crystals.

It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether potassium passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Poly-Citra K Crystals?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Measure the liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

The liquid form of this medication should be mixed with at least 8 ounces (one cup) of cold water or fruit juice. Drink the mixture slowly, over 5 to 10 minutes in all. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Poly-Citra K Crystals is usually taken 3 times daily after meals. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after you take this medication.

Your treatment may include a special diet. It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you should eat or avoid to help control your condition.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG) to measure electrical activity of the heart. This test will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with potassium. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking potassium suddenly, your condition may become worse.

Store Poly-Citra K Crystals at room temperature away from moisture, heat, or freezing. Keep the medication in a closed container.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of Poly-Citra K Crystals.

Overdose symptoms may include numbness and tingling, confusion, heavy feeling in your arms or legs, muscle weakness, limp feeling, slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, and slow breathing (breathing may stop).

What should I avoid while taking Poly-Citra K Crystals?

Avoid taking potassium supplements or using other foods or products that contain potassium without first asking your doctor. Salt substitutes or low-salt dietary products often contain potassium. If you take certain products together you may accidentally get too much potassium. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains potassium.

You may also need to avoid eating potassium-rich foods while you are taking this medication. Foods that are high in potassium include many green leafy vegetables, squash, yams, beets, avocado, lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, split peas, soybeans, papaya, figs, prunes, and fish such as halibut, cod, snapper, and tuna.

It is very important to follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor. You should become very familiar with the list of foods you must avoid to help control your condition.

Poly-Citra K Crystals side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • severe stomach pain, ongoing diarrhea or vomiting;

  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;

  • coughing up blood;

  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;

  • muscle weakness, pain, or twitching;

  • numbness or tingly feeling in your hands or feet, or around your mouth;

  • confusion, anxiety, weakness, mood changes, or feeling irritable;

  • swelling in your ankles or feet; or

  • seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach;

  • mild or occasional diarrhea; or

  • appearance of a Poly-Citra K Crystals tablet in your stool.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Poly-Citra K Crystals?

The following drugs can interact with Poly-Citra K Crystals. Tell your doctor if you are using any of these:

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Poly-Citra K Crystals. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

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.

More about Poly-Citra K Crystals (citric acid / potassium citrate)

Consumer resources

Other brands: Cytra-K, Polycitra-K

Professional resources

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