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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Effervescent Potassium/Chloride, K-Lyte/Cl

Generic Name: potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride (Pronunciation: poe TASS ee um bye KAR boe nate and poe TASS ee um KLOR ide)

What is potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride (Effervescent Potassium/Chloride, K-Lyte/Cl)?

Potassium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is needed for several functions of your body, especially the beating of your heart.

Potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride is used to prevent or to treat low blood levels of potassium (hypokalemia). Potassium levels can be low as a result of a disease or from taking certain medicines, or after a prolonged illness with diarrhea or vomiting.

Potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride may also be used for other purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride (Effervescent Potassium/Chloride, K-Lyte/Cl)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • confusion, anxiety, feeling like you might pass out;
  • uneven heartbeat;
  • extreme thirst, increased urination;
  • leg discomfort;
  • muscle weakness or limp feeling;
  • numbness or tingly feeling in your hands or feet, or around your mouth;
  • severe stomach pain, ongoing diarrhea or vomiting;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools; or
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea or upset stomach;
  • mild or occasional diarrhea; or
  • slight tingling in your hands or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about potassium bicarbonate and potassium chloride (Effervescent Potassium/Chloride, K-Lyte/Cl)?

You should not use this medication if you have kidney failure, Addison's disease, severe burns or other tissue injury, if you are dehydrated, if you take certain diuretics (water pills), or if you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia).

Do not chew the effervescent tablet or swallow it whole. It must be dissolved in water or fruit juice before you take it.

Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after you take this medication.

Take this medication with food or just after a meal.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Your heart rate may also be checked using an electrocardiograph or ECG (sometimes called an EKG), which measures electrical activity of the heart. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with potassium. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Serious side effects of potassium include uneven heartbeat, muscle weakness or limp feeling, severe stomach pain, and numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or mouth.

Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking potassium suddenly, your condition may become worse.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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