What is potassium gluconate used for?


Quick Answer

Potassium gluconate is a mineral supplement that is used to prevent or treat low levels of potassium in the blood. Without proper blood levels of potassium, the cells, kidneys, heart, nerves and muscles find it difficult to function properly.

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Full Answer

A well-balanced diet provides enough potassium to supply adequate blood potassium levels in most individuals. However, some conditions, such as severe prolonged diarrhea and vomiting or hormone problems, such as hyperaldosteronism, can lower the body's potassium levels. A few diseases and medications can also lead to reduced potassium levels in the blood.

Potassium gluconate should not be taken by those who are suffering from kidney failure, high levels of potassium in the blood, Addison's disease, a severe burn or any other large tissue injury. Someone who is severely dehydrated should also avoid taking potassium gluconate.

When taking a dose of potassium gluconate, do not chew or suck on the tablet as this may lead to irritation in the mouth or throat. The tablet should be swallowed with a full glass of water. If the patient is taking potassium gluconate in liquid form, the liquid should be mixed with water or fruit juice before taking. Before using, consult a doctor on how to properly take the medication.

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