Hyperkalemia - Treatment

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What treatment was effective for your hyperkalemia?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white circle:

How is hyperkalemia treated?

Treatment of hyperkalemia must be individualized based upon the underlying cause of the hyperkalemia, the severity of symptoms or appearance of ECG changes, and the overall health status of the patient. Mild hyperkalemia is usually treated without hospitalization especially if the patient is otherwise healthy, the ECG is normal, and there are no other associated conditions such as acidosis and worsening kidney function. Emergency treatment is necessary if hyperkalemia is severe and has caused changes in the ECG. Severe hyperkalemia is best treated in the hospital, oftentimes in the intensive care unit, under continuous heart rhythm monitoring.

Treatment of hyperkalemia may include any of the following measures, either singly or in combination:

  • A diet low in potassium (for mild cases).
  • Discontinue medications that increase blood potassium levels.
  • Intravenous administration of glucose and insulin, which promotes movement of potassium from the extracellular space back into the cells.
  • Intravenous calcium to temporarily protect the heart and muscles from the effects of hyperkalemia.
  • Sodium bicarbonate administration to counteract acidosis and to promote movement of potassium from the extracellular space back into the cells.
  • Diuretic administration to decrease the total potassium stores through increasing potassium excretion in the urine. It is important to note that most diuretics increase kidney excretion of potassium. Only the potassium-sparing diuretics mentioned above decrease kidney excretion of potassium.
  • Medications that stimulate beta-2 adrenergic receptors, such as albuterol and epinephrine, have also been used to drive potassium back into cells.
  • Medications known as cation-exchange resins, which bind potassium and lead to its excretion via the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Dialysis, particularly if other measures have failed or if renal failure is present.

Treatment of hyperkalemia naturally also includes treatment of any underlying causes (for example, kidney disease, adrenal disease, tissue destruction) of hyperkalemia.

Return to Hyperkalemia (High Blood Potassium)

See what others are saying

Comment from: vilaskotekar, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 17

My brother is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, portal hypertension, and ascites. He is taking Ursomax and Aldactone. Now he is taking Indian Noni Gold juice. I don't know whether this improves his health condition or causes side effects. It is supposed to increase potassium levels in the body.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!