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Potassium supplements

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What does it do?

Potassium supplements increase the amount of potassium in your body.

How should you take it?

Take potassium supplements regularly as directed.
Take the tablets (e.g. Span KĀ®) with food and a glass of water. Swallow the tablets whole.
Dissolve effervescent tablets (e.g. Chlorvescent®) in a glass of water before swallowing. Take with food.
Do not lie down for a few minutes after taking each dose.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with potassium supplements including:

  • salt substitutes that also contain potassium (e.g. Lo Salt®)
  • supplements that also contain potassium (e.g. Phosphate Sandoz®, CentrumĀ®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Change in heartbeat

Black bowel motions

Tell your doctor immediately

Abdominal pain

Difficult or painful swallowing

Tell your doctor

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart, kidney, or bowel problems.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. February 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed