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Potassium Gluconate

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 25, 2020.


(poe TASS ee um GLOO coe nate)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Capsule, Oral [preservative free]:

K-99: 595 mg [dye free, sugar free, yeast free]

Tablet, Oral:

Generic: 2 mEq, 2.5 mEq

Tablet, Oral [strength expressed as base]:

Generic: 80 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • K-99 [OTC]

Pharmacologic Category

  • Electrolyte Supplement, Oral


Potassium is the major cation of intracellular fluid and is essential for the conduction of nerve impulses in heart, brain, and skeletal muscle; contraction of cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscles; maintenance of normal renal function, acid-base balance, carbohydrate metabolism, and gastric secretion


Well absorbed from upper GI tract


Enters cells via active transport from extracellular fluid


Primarily urine; skin and feces (small amounts); most intestinal potassium reabsorbed

Use: Labeled Indications

Dietary supplement: Dietary potassium supplement



Dosing: Adult

Dietary supplement: Oral: One capsule/tablet daily

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Pediatric

Note: Doses listed as mEq of potassium (approximately 4.3 mEq potassium/g potassium gluconate; 1 mEq potassium is equivalent to 39 mg elemental potassium). Product is only available in solid dosage forms; only use in patients able to swallow whole tablets.

Normal daily requirement: Limited data available: Children and Adolescents: Oral: 1 to 2 mEq/kg/day (Kliegman 2016)

Hypokalemia, prevention for ongoing drug losses (eg, concurrent diuretic therapy): Limited data available: Children and Adolescents: Oral: 1 to 2 mEq/kg/day in 1 to 2 divided doses; should not exceed usual adult single dose: 20 mEq/dose; some patients may require a single dose up to 40 mEq/dose (Moffett 2011); some patients may require higher individual daily doses based on lab values and ongoing losses; dosing based on experience using KCl salt for potassium replacement.

Hypokalemia, treatment; mild to moderate: Limited data available: Children and Adolescents: Oral: 2 to 5 mEq/kg/day in divided doses; not to exceed 1 to 2 mEq/kg as a single dose or 20 mEq (whichever is less) (Corkins 2015; Moffett 2011); if deficits are severe or ongoing losses are great, IV potassium should be considered the preferred route of administration


Administer with a meal.


Store at room temperature.

Drug Interactions

Aliskiren: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Aliskiren. Monitor therapy

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. Monitor therapy

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors. Monitor therapy

Drospirenone: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Drospirenone. Monitor therapy

Eplerenone: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Management: This combination is contraindicated in patients receiving eplerenone for treatment of hypertension. Potassium supplements may be needed to treat/prevent hypokalemia in selected patients with heart failure receiving eplerenone and high dose loop diuretics. Consider therapy modification

Heparin: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Monitor therapy

Heparins (Low Molecular Weight): May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Monitor therapy

Nicorandil: May enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium Salts. Monitor therapy

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: Potassium Salts may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium-Sparing Diuretics. Management: Avoid coadministration of a potassium-sparing diuretic and a potassium salt. This combination should only be used in cases of significant hypokalemia, and only if serum potassium can be closely monitored. Consider therapy modification

Test Interactions

Decreased ammonia (B)


Concerns related to adverse effects:

• GI effects: May cause GI upset (eg, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, discomfort) and lead to GI ulceration, bleeding, perforation and/or obstruction. Oral liquid preparations (not solid) should be used in patients with esophageal compression or delayed gastric emptying.

• Hyperkalemia: Close monitoring of serum potassium concentrations is needed to avoid hyperkalemia; severe hyperkalemia may lead to muscle weakness/paralysis and cardiac conduction abnormalities (eg, heart block, ventricular arrhythmias, asystole).

Disease-related concerns:

• Acid/base disorders: Use with caution in patients with acid/base alterations; changes in serum potassium concentrations can occur during acid/base correction, monitor closely.

• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with cardiovascular disease (eg, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias); patients may be more susceptible to life-threatening cardiac effects associated with hyper/hypokalemia.

• Potassium-altering conditions/disorders: Use with caution in patients with disorders or conditions likely to contribute to altered serum potassium and hyperkalemia (eg, untreated Addison's disease, heat cramps, severe tissue breakdown from trauma or burns).

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; monitor serum potassium concentrations closely. Contraindicated with severe impairment.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Digitalis: Use with caution in digitalized patients; may be more susceptible to potentially life-threatening cardiac effects with rapid changes in serum potassium concentrations.

• Potassium-altering therapies: Use with caution in patients receiving concomitant medications or therapies that increase potassium (eg, ACEI, potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium containing salt substitutes).

Monitoring Parameters

Serum potassium and magnesium (to facilitate potassium repletion)

Pregnancy Considerations

Potassium requirements are the same in pregnant and non-pregnant women. Adverse events have not been observed following use of potassium supplements in healthy women with normal pregnancies. Use caution in pregnant women with other medical conditions (eg, preeclampsia; may be more likely to develop hyperkalemia) (IOM 2004).

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

• It is used to treat or prevent low potassium levels.

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

• Diarrhea

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

• High potassium like abnormal heartbeat, confusion, dizziness, passing out, weakness, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling feeling

• Severe constipation

• Abdominal swelling

• Severe nausea

• Severe vomiting

• Severe abdominal pain

• Black, tarry, or bloody stools, or vomiting blood

• Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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