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Potassium Chloride Side-effects

Potassium Chloride Side-effects

Although rare, potassium chloride does have certain side effects that cannot be ignored. This article discusses certain precautions to be taken before starting the medication and its possible side effects.
Suketu Mehta
Potassium chloride is an important mineral required by the body for various reasons. It is therefore important for you to maintain its optimum level in the body. In case the potassium chloride level in the body is found to be low, the doctor would prescribe medicines to make it regain the optimal level. However, there are certain side effects which you need to be careful about before starting the medication.
Understanding KCl
Potassium chloride (KCI) is a chemical compound, which is made up of potassium and chlorine and is mostly used in the production of fertilizers for plants. In the human body, this natural salt's most important function is to keep the heart beating. A balanced diet provides the body with sufficient amount of it. Hypokalemia, a common disease caused due to low levels of potassium in the body, is treated with tablets. This medicine can be taken orally, or at times, can also be injected. Kaon CI, Micro-K, K-Dur, and Klor-Con are a few major brands which manufacture controlled potassium releasing tablets. Like all medicines, there are a few side effects of these tablets as well.
Precautions
Before starting with the medication, one needs to inform his doctor in case of any of the following:
  • Any kidney disease or a kidney failure
  • Any large tissue injury like a severe burn or cut
  • Heart diseases or high blood pressure problems
  • A stomach or intestine blockage
  • Severe diarrhea or constipation
  • Adrenal gland problems like Addison's disease
  • Severe dehydration
  • Allergies to any medicines, or if you are on any medication currently
The doctor may alter the dose or even ask you to undergo certain tests for safety purposes in case you have any of the aforementioned problems. Although the possibility of potassium chloride side effects cannot be completely eliminated even after the tests, there are chances that the precautionary tests ensure that these medicines cause minimum discomfort.
Side Effects
There is no need to be overly worried as there are chances that one may not even be affected by any of these side effects. In around 80% of cases, it has been observed that the patients do not experience any problem. The possible side effects include:
  • Pain in the legs
  • Weakness of the muscles
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • Anxiety, confusion, or a feeling of dizziness
  • Constant diarrhea or pain in the stomach
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Dark or blackish stools
  • Tingling sensation in the hands or feet
  • Dizziness and nausea
In case you suffer form any of these problems after taking the tablets, kindly consult a doctor immediately. Of these possible side effects, mild nausea, gas problems, mild diarrhea, and vomiting are less serious, and generally, they do not require medical attention as they disappear in some time.
Take the medicines as prescribed by the doctor, and also read the instructions on the label properly before taking the medicines. Normally, these medicines have to be taken after meals with a glass of water without chewing them. These medicines may react with certain medicines in the body to form an excess amount of potassium which can also lead to cardiac arrest. That is the reason why one needs to inform the doctor about any ongoing medication before starting the course. The doctor could also advise for periodic tests, so as to monitor the effectiveness of these medicines.
These side effects mentioned in this article are not exhaustive. So, in case you experience any other health abnormalities after taking the medicines, kindly consult your doctor.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.