sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kalexate, Kayexalate, Kionex, SP)

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GENERIC NAME: sodium polystyrene sulfonate

BRAND NAME: Kalexate, Kayexalate, Kionex, SP

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is a cation-exchange resin taken orally that is used to reduce high levels of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia). Sodium polystyrene sulfonate removes potassium by exchanging sodium ions for potassium ions in the intestine. The majority of this cation exchange seems to take place in the large intestine where potassium ions are excreted in greater amounts.

In-vitro studies have shown that each gram of resin removes roughly 3 mEq of potassium. However, actual removal of potassium in patients is closer to 1 mEq per gram of medication. Sodium polystyrene sulfonate starts working over a period of several hours and therefore should not be used to treat life-threatening episodes of acute hyperkalemia.

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate was initially approved by the US FDA in 1958.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is used for treating high potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia).

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with sodium polystyrene sulfonate treatment are gastrointestinal (affecting the stomach and intestines).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014

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