Potassium Chloride

Generic Name

Brand Name Drug Classification Ordered Dose Indications

Apo-K, K-Tab, Kalium Durule Electrolyte 1 tab q8 • Prevention and correction of potassium deficiency; when associated with alkalosis, use potassium chloride; when associated with acidosis, use potassium acetate, bicarbonate, citrate, or gluconate • IV: treatment of cardiac arrhythmias due to cardiac glycosides • Contraindicated with allergy to tartrazine, aspirin; therapy with potassium-sparing diuretics or aldosterone-inhibiting agents; severe renal impairment with oliguria, anuria, azotemia; untreated Addison’s disease; hyperkalemia; acute dehydration; heat cramps; GI disorders that delay passage in the GI tract • Use cautiously with cardiac disorders, especially if treated with digitalis, pregnancy, lactation Dermatologic: rash GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, GI obstruction, GI bleeding, GI ulceration or perforation Hematologic: Hyperkalemia – increased serum K+, ECG changes Local: Tissue sloughing, local necrosis, local phlebitis, and venospasm with injection


Adverse Effects

Nursing Responsibilities

• Assess client’s allergy to tartrazine, aspirin; severe renal impairment; untreated Addison’s disease; hyperkalemia; acute dehydration; heat cramps; GI disorders that delay passage in the GI tract, cardiac disorders, lactation • Assess patient’s skin color, lesions, turgor; injection sites; P, baseline ECG; bowel sounds, abdominal examination; urinary output; serum electrolytes, serum bicarbonate • Arrange for serial serum potassium levels before and during therapy • Administer liquid form to any patient with delayed GI emptying • Administer oral drug after meals or with food and glass of water to decrease GI upset

• Caution patient not to chew or crush tablets; have it swallowed whole • Mix or dissolve oral liquids, soluble powders and effervescent tablets completely in 3-8 oz of cold water and have it drink slowly • Monitor cardiac rhythm carefully during IV administration • Inform that client may experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea • Instruct to report tingling of the hands or feet, unusual tiredness or weakness, feeling of heaviness in the legs, severe nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, black or tarry stools, pain at IV injection site

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