Dangers associated with salt substitutes include the potential risk of certain patients developing life-threatening conditions through impaired kidney function or from potassium interacting with anti-inflammatory or angiotensin converting enzyme, or ACE inhibiting drugs. Most salt substitutes replace the sodium in salt with potassium or a combination of sodium and potassium.
A moderate intake of potassium has health benefits for most people by lowering blood pressure, but some groups of patients are at risk for developing potentially fatal conditions from increased potassium consumption. These include patients with chronic kidney disease and patients being treated for hypertension and osteoporosis with ACE inhibitors and potassium sparing diuretics. These medications may interact with increased levels of potassium to produce kidney failure or urinary blockage and cardiac arrest.