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What conditions does potassium chloride ER 20 mEq treat?

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Quick Answer

Potassium chloride ER 20 mEq is a mineral supplement that is prescribed to patients to prevent low potassium levels or to those who have low potassium levels in the blood. The supplement is available from a wide variety of manufacturers and is often referred to as the formula KCI.

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Full Answer

Most people get the proper amount of potassium through a well-balanced diet, but certain diseases and conditions, as well as certain medications can deplete potassium levels. Potassium is essential for optimal function of the digestive system, kidneys, heart, nerves and muscles, so in instances where levels have dropped, it is sometimes necessary to treat the condition with the supplement states the Everyday Health website.

Some conditions, medications and diseases that cause potassium levels to drop include excessive vomiting or diarrhea, adrenal gland disorders, kidney disease, diuretic medications, gastrointestinal disorders and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Potassium chloride ER 20 mEq are extended release tablets that are used to treat patients suffering from hypokalemia or to prevent the disorder. According to the Rxlist website, the tablets are reserved for patients who cannot take liquid potassium due to the risk of ulcers and intestinal bleeding caused by the control released formula.

The Everyday Health website lists vomiting, upset stomach and diarrhea as common side effects of the supplement. More serious side effects of potassium chloride tablets include mental confusion, cold, pale or gray skin, black stools, stomach pain or unusual bulging, tingling, burning or pulling sensations in the extremities and lethargy.

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