hyperkalemic paralysis

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hyperkalemic paralysis

A rare form of periodic paralysis characterized by brief (1- to 2-hr) attacks of limb weakness. Respiratory muscles are involved in some cases. “Hyperkalemic” is misleading because the potassium levels may be normal. But, because an attack is precipitated by the administration of potassium, this form of paralysis is better termed “potassium-sensitive periodic paralysis.”


Emergency treatment is seldom necessary. Oral glucose hastens recovery. Attacks may be prevented by acetazolamide or thiazide diuretics.

See also: paralysis
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