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Back to Drug index

Back to Electrolytes

Name: Potassium Acetate

Pregnancy Category C

Drug classes

  • Electrolyte

Therapeutic actions

Principal intracellular cation of most body tissues, participates in a number of physiologic processes-maintaining intracellular tonicity, transmission of nerve impulses, contraction of cardiac, skeletal and smooth muscle, maintenance of normal renal function; also plays a role in
carbohydrate metabolism and various enzymatic reactions.


  • Prevention and correction of potassium deficiency; when associated with alkalosis, use potassium chloride; when associated with acidosis, use potassium acetate, bicarbonate, citrate, or gluconate
  • Treatment of cardiac arrhythmias due to cardiac glycosides (IV)


Contraindicated in the presence of allergy to tartrazine, aspirin (tartrazine is found in some preparations marketed as Kaon-Cl, Klor-Con); severe renal impairment with oliguria, anuria, azotemia; untreated

Addison's disease; hyperkalemia; adynamia episodica hereditaria; acute dehydration; heat cramps; GI disorders that cause delay in passage in the GI tract.

Use caution in the presence of cardiac disorders, especially if treated with digitalis, pregnancy, lactation.

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Adverse effects

  • GI: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, GI obstruction, GI bleeding, GI ulceration or perforation
  • Hematologic: Hyperkalemia-increased serum K+, ECG changes (peaking of T waves, loss of P waves, depression of ST segment, prolongation of QT interval)
  • Dermatologic: Skin rash
  • Local: Tissue sloughing, local necrosis, local phlebitis, and venospasm with injection

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