GENERIC NAME: Potassium citrate
BRAND NAME: Urocit-K
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Potassium citrate is a urinary alkalinizing medication. It makes urine less acidic. Potassium citrate works by crystallizing stone-forming salts such as calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, and uric acid within the urinary bladder by increasing the urinary pH and urine citrate levels. Urocit-k was approved in August 1985.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Potassium citrate is used for treating renal tubular acidosis with calcium stones, hypocitraturic calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis (kidney stones), and uric acid lithiasis with or without calcium stones.
SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of potassium citrate are:
- abdominal discomfort,
- increased potassium levels, and
- rarely cardiac arrest.
Potassium supplements can cause bleeding or perforation of the stomach or small intestine from ulcers, and narrowing (stricture) of the small intestine from healed ulcers.
DOSING: Dosing of potassium citrate is based on urinary citrate levels.
Mild to moderate hypocitraturia (Urinary citrate greater than 150 mg/day):
- Take 10 mEq potassium citrate orally three times a day
- Severe hypocitraturia (Urinary citrate less than 150 mg/day):
- Take 30 mEq potassium citrate orally 2 times a day or 20 mEq 3 times a day; with meals or within 30 minutes after meals.
- To achieve urinary citrate 320 to 640 mg/day and urinary pH 6.0-7.0: Titrate dose to maximum of 100 mEq/day
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Potassium citrate is available in extended-release tablets. They are available in 5 mEq (540 mg), 10 mEq (1080 mg), and 15 mEq (1620 mg) strengths. The packets for oral solution were discontinued in the U.S.
STORAGE: Store potassium citrate tablets at room temperature in a tightly closed container.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Potassium citrate should be used with caution with potassium-sparring diuretics, which can increase potassium levels in body and potentially lead to cardiac arrest.
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