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Related to K-Dur: K-dur 10

potassium chloride

Apo-K (CA), K10 (CA), Kaon, Kay-Cee-L (UK), K-Dur (CA), K-Lor, Klor-Con, K-Lyte (CA), Klotrix, K-Med (CA), K-Tab, Micro-K, Riva K 20 SR (CA), Slow-K (CA) (UK), Slow-Pot

Pharmacologic class: Mineral, electrolyte

Therapeutic class: Electrolyte replacement, nutritional supplement

Pregnancy risk category C


Maintains acid-base balance, isotonicity, and electrophysiologic balance throughout body tissues; crucial to nerve impulse transmission and contraction of cardiac, skeletal, and smooth muscle. Also essential for normal renal function and carbohydrate metabolism.


Capsules (extended-release): 8 mEq, 10 mEq

Powder for oral solution: 20 mEq, 25 mEq

Parenteral injection (concentrate): 2 mEq/ml

Parenteral solution: 0.1 mEq/ml, 0.2 mEq/ml, 0.3 mEq/ml, 0.4 mEq/ml

Potassium chloride in 5% dextrose injection: 10 mEq/L, 20 mEq/L, 30 mEq/L, 40 mEq/L

Potassium chloride in 0.9% sodium chloride injection: 20 mEq/L, 40 mEq/L

Potassium chloride in dextrose and lactated Ringer's injection: various strengths

Potassium chloride in dextrose and sodium chloride injection: various strengths

Solution (oral): 6.7 mEq, 10 mEq, 13.3 mEq, 15 mEq, 20 mEq, 30 mEq, 40 mEq

Tablets: 500 mg, 595 mg

Tablets (effervescent): 25 mEq, 50 mEq

Tablets (extended-release): 8 mEq, 10 mEq, 20 mEq

Tablets (extended-release crystals): 10 mEq, 20 mEq

Tablets (extended-release, film coated): 8 mEq, 10 mEq

Tablets (film-coated): 2.5 mEq, 10 mEq

Indications and dosages

To prevent potassium depletion

Adults: Dosage highly individualized. Usual single dosage is 20 mEq/day P.O. in divided doses.

Potassium depletion; diabetic acidosis; metabolic alkalosis; arrhythmias; periodic paralysis attacks; hyperadren-ocorticism; primary aldosteronism; healing phase of scalds or burns; over-medication with adrenocorticoids, testosterone, or corticotropin

Adults: Dosage highly individualized. 40 to 100 mEq/day P.O. in divided doses, not to exceed 20 mEq in a single dose. For serum potassium level above 2.5 mEq/L, 40 mEq/L as additive to I.V. infusion at a maximum rate of 10 mEq/hour; maximum daily dosage is 200 mEq. For serum potassium level less than 2 mEq/L, 80 mEq/L as additive to I.V. infusion at a maximum rate of 40 mEq/hour (with cardiac monitoring); maximum daily dosage is 400 mEq.

Children: Dosage highly individualized; give up to 3 mEq/kg or 40 mEq/m2/day as additive to I.V. infusion.


• Hypersensitivity to tartrazine or alcohol (with some products)

• Acute dehydration

• Heat cramps

• Hyperkalemia

• Hyperkalemic familial periodic paralysis

• Severe renal impairment

• Severe hemolytic reactions

• Severe tissue trauma

• Untreated Addison's disease

• Esophageal compression caused by enlarged left atrium (with wax matrix forms)

• Concurrent use of potassium-sparing diuretics, angiotensin-enzyme converting (ACE) inhibitors, or salt substitutes containing potassium


Use cautiously in:

• cardiac disease, renal impairment, diabetes mellitus, hypomagnesemia

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients

• children (safety and efficacy not established).


Know that I.V. potassium chloride is a high-alert drug.

Give I.V. form as additive by infusion only. Never give undiluted or by I.V. push or I.M. route. Use peripheral line and infuse at a maximum rate of 40 mEq/hour (with cardiac monitoring).

Dilute in compatible I.V. solution per manufacturer's instructions. Administer slowly to reduce risk of fatal hyperkalemia.

To ensure that potassium is well mixed in compatible solution, don't add potassium to I.V. bottle in hanging position.

Be aware that maximum infusion rate without cardiac monitoring is 20 mEq/hour. Rates above 20 mEq/hour require cardiac monitoring.

• Make sure patient is well-hydrated and urinating before starting therapy.

• If patient complains of burning with I.V. administration, decrease flow rate.

• Give P.O. form with meals and a full glass of water or juice, to minimize GI upset.

• Ensure that patient swallows wax-matrix tablets completely, to avoid serious esophageal problems.

• Don't give wax matrix tablets to patients who have swallowing problems or possible esophageal compression.

• Be aware that potassium preparations aren't interchangeable.

• Know that dosages are expressed in mEq of potassium and that potassium chloride contains 13.4 mEq potassium/g.

Adverse reactions

CNS: confusion, unusual fatigue, restlessness, asthenia, flaccid paralysis, paresthesia, absent reflexes

CV: ECG changes, hypotension, arrhythmias, heart block, cardiac arrest

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, flatulence

Metabolic: hyperkalemia

Musculoskeletal: weakness and heaviness of legs

Respiratory: respiratory paralysis Other: irritation at I.V. site


Drug-drug. ACE inhibitors, potassium-sparing diuretics, other potassium-containing preparations: increased risk of hyperkalemia

Drug-diagnostic tests. Potassium: increased level

Drug-food. Salt substitutes containing potassium: increased risk of hyperkalemia

Drug-herbs. Dandelion: increased risk of hyperkalemia

Licorice: decreased response to potassium

Patient monitoring

• Monitor renal function, fluid intake and output, and potassium, creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen levels.

• Assess vital signs and ECG. Stay alert for arrhythmias.

• Monitor neurologic status. Watch for neurologic complications.

• Monitor I.V. site for irritation.

Know that potassium is contra-indicated in patients with severe renal impairment and must be used with extreme caution (if at all) in patients with any degree of renal impairment, because of risk of life-threatening hyperkalemia.

Patient teaching

• Instruct patient to mix and dissolve powder completely in 3 to 8 oz of water or juice.

• Tell patient to swallow extended-release capsules whole without crushing or chewing them.

• Instruct patient to take oral form with or just after a meal, with a glass of water or fruit juice.

• Tell patient to sip diluted liquid form over 5 to 10 minutes.

• Advise patient to report nausea, vomiting, confusion, numbness and tingling, unusual fatigue or weakness, or a heavy feeling in legs.

• Tell patient to minimize GI upset by eating frequent, small servings of food and drinking plenty of fluids.

• Inform patient that although wax matrix form may appear in stool, drug has already been absorbed.

• Advise patient not to use salt substitutes.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, foods, and herbs mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill Nurse's Drug Handbook, 7th Ed. Copyright © 2013 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


A trademark for an oral preparation of extended-release potassium chloride.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
On September 5, 1989, Schering was granted a patent ('743 Patent) on the controlled-release potassium-chloride supplement, K-Dur 20 (K-Dur).
That may be about to change after the 3rd Circuit's July decision in In re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation.
The July 2012 decision of the Third Circuit involves the drug K-dur from Schering Plough Corp.
Upshur-Smith agreed not to compete with K-Dur 20 until September 2001, after which Schering would license the product to Upshur-Smith -- avoiding a lawsuit which might have invalidated the patent and opened the market to other generic competitors.
for paying two generic drug makers up to $90 million to settle an infringement suit involving its blood pressure drug K-Dur 20.
K-Dur 20, a prescription potassium chloride supplement, is used to treat patients with low blood potassium levels, a condition that most commonly occurs in people taking certain drugs to treat high blood pressure.
Upsher-Smith notes that the FTC proceeding arose from the settlement of patent litigation between that company and Schering: In December 1995 Upsher-Smith tried to bring its Klor-Con M20 to market as an A-B rated generic to K-Dur 20 but was blocked when the brand-name manufacturer sued for patent infringement.
According to Upsher-Smith, its products are available at up to 50% of the cost of K-Dur. Both versions offer easy and convenient administration by allowing patients to take tablets whole or dissolved in water--thus increasing the chances that patients will comply with recommended dosages.
Similarly, the legal action stipulates that ESI (in 1998) agreed to delay the debut of its generic version of K-Dur until January 2004.
The complaint calls for Schering-Plough to immediately license its K-Dur patent to Upsher-Smith and ESI Lederle (both of which are generic companies) with no compensation to Schering-Plough.
The third is a version of K-Dur, a potassium chloride extended-release tablet prescribed as a potassium supplement.
Schering-Plough's price for 100 capsules of K-Dur (potassium chloride USP) 20 mg.