What Is the Mechanism of Action of Kayexalate?


Quick Answer

Kayexalate, or sodium polystyrene sulfonate, works by partially releasing its sodium ions and replacing them with potassium ions as the medication moves through the intestine, states Drugs.com. This process removes potassium from the body, making Kayexalate an ideal treatment for hyperkalemia, or high potassium levels.

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Full Answer

Depending on the individual, Kayexalate may take hours to days to lower potassium levels effectively, according to Drugs.com. Because of this, some patients with severe hyperkalemia may require other treatment. Kayexalate may lead to hypokalemia, or a low potassium level, which is characterized by irritability, confusion and delayed thought processes. Patients undergoing treatment with Kayexalate must be monitored carefully and must have their potassium levels checked regularly.

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