Generic name: potassium bicarbonate [ poe-TAS-ee-um-bye-KAR-bo-nate ]
Brand names: Effer-K, Klor-Con/EF, K-Effervescent, K+Care ET, Effervescent Potassium, K-vescent
Dosage form: oral tablet, effervescent (10 mEq; 20 mEq; 25 mEq)
Drug class: Minerals and electrolytes
What is potassium bicarbonate?
Potassium is a mineral that is found naturally in foods and is necessary for the normal function of your heart, muscles, and nerves.
Potassium bicarbonate is used to treat or prevent low potassium (hypokalemia).
Potassium bicarbonate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use potassium bicarbonate if you also take a potassium-sparing diuretic such as amiloride, eplerenone, spironolactone, or triamterene.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use potassium bicarbonate if:
you have high levels of potassium in your blood; or
you also take a potassium-sparing diuretic such as amiloride, eplerenone, spironolactone, or triamterene.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have ever had:
heart problems, irregular heartbeats;
a severe burn injury;
an ulcer or other problems with your stomach or intestines;
Addison's disease (an adrenal gland disorder);
an allergic reaction to a product that contains potassium;
kidney disease; or
if you are dehydrated.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I take potassium bicarbonate?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Drop the effervescent tablet into a glass with at least 4 ounces of water. Allow the tablet to dissolve completely. Drink the liquid slowly, over 5 to 10 minutes.
Take your doses at regular intervals to keep a steady amount of potassium in your body at all times.
Take potassium bicarbonate with food or after a meal.
You may need frequent medical tests. Even if you have no symptoms, tests can help your doctor determine if potassium bicarbonate is effective.
You should not stop using potassium bicarbonate without first asking your doctor.
Store this medicine in the original packaging at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep each tablet in the foil pouch until you are ready to use the medicine.
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.
What should I avoid while taking potassium bicarbonate?
Avoid using other potassium supplements, salt substitutes, or low-sodium foods unless your doctor has told you to.
Potassium bicarbonate side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Potassium bicarbonate may cause serious side effects. Stop using potassium bicarbonate and call your doctor at once if you have:
fast or irregular heartbeats;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
weakness or a heavy feeling in your legs;
numbness or tingling in your hands or feet;
black, bloody, or tarry stools;
severe stomach pain or cramping; or
high potassium--nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, or loss of movement.
Common side effects of potassium bicarbonate may include:
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 potassium bicarbonate?
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using potassium bicarbonate with any other medications, especially:
heart or blood pressure medication;
a diuretic or "water pill"; or
NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect potassium bicarbonate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
More about potassium bicarbonate
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- Drug class: minerals and electrolytes
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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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