Potassium Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route)Drug Information provided by: Micromedex
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Potassium is needed to maintain good health. Although a balanced diet usually supplies all the potassium a person needs, potassium supplements may be needed by patients who do not have enough potassium in their regular diet or have lost too much potassium because of illness or treatment with certain medicines.
There is no evidence that potassium supplements are useful in the treatment of high blood pressure.
Lack of potassium may cause muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, mood changes, or nausea and vomiting.
Injectable potassium is administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor. Some forms of oral potassium may be available in stores without a prescription. Since too much potassium may cause health problems, you should take potassium supplements only if directed by your doctor.
For good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods.
The following table includes some potassium-rich foods.
|Acorn squash, cooked |
|Potato with skin, baked |
|Spinach, cooked |
|Lentils, cooked |
|Kidney beans, cooked |
|Split peas, cooked |
|White navy beans, cooked |
|Butternut squash, cooked |
|Yogurt, low-fat, plain |
|Orange juice, frozen |
|Brussel sprouts, cooked |
|Zucchini, cooked, sliced |
|Collards, frozen, cooked |
|Milk, low-fat 1% |
|Broccoli, frozen, cooked |
The daily amount of potassium needed is defined in several different ways.
- For U.S.—
- Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the amount of vitamins and minerals needed to provide for adequate nutrition in most healthy persons. RDAs for a given nutrient may vary depending on a person's age, sex, and physical condition (e.g., pregnancy).
- Daily Values (DVs) are used on food and dietary supplement labels to indicate the percent of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient that a serving provides. DV replaces the previous designation of United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDAs).
- For Canada—
- Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) are used to determine the amounts of vitamins, minerals, and protein needed to provide adequate nutrition and lessen the risk of chronic disease.
Because lack of potassium is rare, there is no RDA or RNI for this mineral. However, it is thought that 1600 to 2000 mg (40 to 50 milliequivalents [mEq]) per day for adults is adequate.
- The total amount of potassium that you get every day includes what you get from food and what you may take as a supplement. Read the labels of processed foods. Many foods now have added potassium.
- Your total intake of potassium should not be greater than the recommended amounts, unless ordered by your doctor. In some cases, too much potassium may cause muscle weakness, confusion, irregular heartbeat, or difficult breathing.