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What is potassium citrate?

Potassium is a common mineral in nature that is found in many sorts of food. Its form, potassium citrate, is a salt that potassium forms with citric acid. Potassium citrate is white crystalline powder without odor and a slightly salty taste. This potassium salt has several uses. As an additive to food, it regulates acidity. In medical appliance, it is used to regulate heart rhythm and as an agent for tubular acidosis, a medical condition that causes kidney stones. It is also used for gout.

Precautionary measures

Potassium citrate dissolves and absorbs rapidly when given by mouth. Therefore, if you take it in form of extended release tablet, do not suck, crush or break it, as that may cause a rapid release of the entire dose or cause irritation to the mouth and throat. Also, persons who are having problems with esophagus, stomach and/or intestines should not use potassium citrate.

Persons that suffer from kidney failure, infections of urinary tract, diabetes that is not being controlled, Addison's disease, peptic ulcer, hyperkalemia (high level of potassium in the blood), and various tissue injuries such as burns, as well as persons that have dehydrated or are on a diuretic therapy should not use potassium citrate.

Prior to therapy

Before you begin to use potassium citrate, make sure that you are not allergic to it and that you do not have medical conditions as described above. Inform your doctor if you are suffering from a condition such as enlarged heart, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, other types of heart disease or that you suffered from heart attack in the past, or that you are suffering from chronic diarrhea, blockage in the stomach or in the intestines, diabetes, and any form of kidney disease. If you have any of the conditions listed above, your doctor could run some special tests or adjust the dosage directly to make it safe for you to use potassium citrate.

Also, if you are pregnant and your pregnancy is labelled as category C pregnancy by FDA, be aware that potassium citrate can be harmful to your baby. If you are planning to become pregnant during treatment with potassium citrate, or are pregnant already, inform your doctor. If you are breast-feeding a baby, it is not recommended to use potassium citrate.Efficacy control

Frequent blood tests and heart rate checks will be needed to determine if treatment with potassium citrate is helping your condition, and for how long it should continue, and if dosage should be changed. Do not stop to take potassium citrate on your own or suddenly, as it may worsen your condition. For any change, consult with a doctor.

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