Adequate amounts of potassium is needed for normal functioning of your cells, muscles, nerves as well as essential organs like kidneys and heart. Your system may stand deprived of needful potassium when you are vomiting incessantly; or, if you are experiencing non-stop spells of diarrhea and consuming water pills for a fairly long period of time. An inadequate level of potassium in blood is known as hypokalemia. Some studies indicate excessive intake of alcohol, sweating profusely, consumption of laxatives / stool-softeners regularly, etc. as possible reasons for a drop in potassium levels. In this milieu, can you take potassium chloride along with diuretic drugs such as furosemide? It is a wise thing to know more on this.

Low level of potassium in blood is often an outcome of diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, not adding enough potassium-based foods to your daily diet may also cause it. Foods that are rich in potassium are bananas, raisins, spinach, avocado, sweet potatoes, etc. Lack of adequate potassium is clinically known as hypokalemia. You may also encounter it when you are taking drugs that may make you to urinate more. These drugs are commonly known as water pills or diuretics. Furosemide is a widely used diuretic drug.

Potassium chloride and its uses

This is a supplement drug taken to stop the loss of potassium in your blood. Potassium plays a key role in seamless transmission of nerve signals, functioning of cardiac muscles as well as for the efficient working of kidneys. Inadequacy of this mineral can occur when there is a faster loss of this salt – i.e., wherein the loss is quicker than rate of supply. Typical signs of low level of potassium are quite distinct; these include overall weakness of the body, erratic heartbeats, tiredness, etc.

In case of those needing long term treatment for high blood pressure – by administering diuretics, potassium chloride is used as a supplement. Also, in case of low potassium levels due to metabolic acidosis, supplements such as potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate are administered. In case of depletion of this mineral due to water pills, dosages may vary based on the extent of depletion. For treating low level of potassium, typical dose is 50 to 90 mEq among adults; for children aged till 15 years – the dose is maintained at about 3 mEq each day. In order to prevent the onset of low potassium, the dosage hovers at 18 mEq each day for adults while it is nearly 2 mEq for children. This supplement is taken orally.

While taking this mineral supplement, you need to stay aware of its likely side effects. Common among them is a build-up of potassium (medically known as hyperkalemia), internal bleeding and abdominal conditions such as nausea, vomiting or indigestion. If you are living with any prior allergies or hypersensitivity to potassium chloride or potassium citrate, it is important to tell your doctor about such conditions. Also, those living with renal problems or conditions such as Addison’s disease must keep their caregiving team informed of these problems. Always remember that this supplement is taken as per the instructions of your treating physician. It is never consumed through self-medication or as an over the counter (OTC) supplement.

What is furosemide?

Furosemide is consumed to reduce the extra fluids in your system. This med is categorized under a class called diuretics. These are also called as water pills. Through increased spells of urination, the drug helps to get rid of extra fluids as well as salts. If you are living with kidney problems or other renal ailments, it is recommended to consider safer alternatives to reduce your blood pressure levels.

Furosemide may cause some undesired side effects – such as urges to urinate, headaches, weakness, tiredness, etc. Many of these common side effects are labelled as minor discomforts. The good thing is – these discomforts may cease to show up as soon as your system adapts to the drug’s active ingredients. In some rare instances, furosemide has caused skin conditions like itchiness, rashes, peeling-off of skin, blisters as well as yellowing of eyes, discoloration of skin, etc.

Can you take potassium chloride and furosemide?

This combination is consumed to treat severe episodes of edema or accumulation of fluids. These two drugs complement each other. Use of water pill (furosemide) causes a potential loss of electrolytes and minerals such as potassium. On the other hand, potassium chloride helps correct the imbalance of potassium; thus it ensures the right level of such minerals in your system.

Co-administration of these two drugs is strictly done under the clinical care and guidance of a qualified medical practitioner. Dosage value of potassium chloride needs to be in line with loss of minerals (i.e., mainly owing to intake of water pills). A larger dose may only worsen the imbalance. Incorrect dosage levels of potassium chloride may either lead to hyperkalemia (abundant presence of potassium) or hypokalemia (potassium deficiency).

You are also advised to stay watchful of the side effects of this combinatorial treatment. Main discomforts include pain in abdomen, drop in magnesium levels, marked decrease in calcium in blood, abdominal problems such as nausea, vomiting or indigestion. In some one-off cases, users have reported signs of a spike in uric acid levels.

In general, pregnant women may need to stay away from taking water pills; additional research / studies are needed to establish fetal wellbeing upon taking diuretics. Also, it is not safe to become pregnant when you are consuming furosemide. Talk to your physician and know more about non-hormonal birth control measures (you can choose from a wide range of contraceptives such as skin patches, vaginal rings or other such measures). Key chemicals of furosemide may enter breastmilk. So, breastfeeding /nursing women are not advised to use this diuretic drug.

In sum, a combination of potassium chloride and furosemide is administered for treating acute spells of fluid accumulation. The administration of furosemide triggers a loss of potassium, while potassium chloride corrects this imbalance and keeps the mineral at an optimal level. Incorrect dosages of this combination can lead to an abundant share of potassium or a deficiency. So, remember that the co-administration of these meds is always done under the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner.

Leave a Reply