This site is intended for UK healthcare professionals
Medscape UK Univadis Logo
Medscape UK Univadis Logo

Potassium chloride oral


Oral formulations containing potassium chloride.

Drugs List

  • AAD K 600mg modified release tablet
  • KAY-CEE - L 7.5% (1mmol/ml) syrup
  • POTACHLOR 600mg modified release tablet
  • potassium chloride 600mg modified release tablet
  • potassium chloride 7.5% (1mmol/ml) oral solution sugar-free
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Potassium depletion


    The dosage should be adapted for individual requirements depending on cause, degree, and duration of hypokalaemia.

    Response to treatment should be monitored by repeat plasma potassium analysis until hypokalaemia has been corrected.


    10ml to 50ml of potassium chloride 7.5% liquid per day in divided doses after food.

    At higher doses and particularly in patients with more severe hypokalaemic conditions, the dose should be determined by the patients response as determined by serum electrolyte levels and acid-base studies.

    One tablet every 12 hours.

    The following alternative dosing schedule may be suitable:
    2g to 4g daily in divided doses.


    Children 1 to 12 years
    0.5ml/kg to 1.0ml/kg bodyweight of potassium chloride 7.5% liquid per day in divided doses after food. The dose should be administered using a graduated dropper.

    Children under 1 year
    0.5ml/kg to 0.75ml/kg bodyweight of potassium chloride 7.5% liquid per day in divided doses after food. The dose should be administered using a graduated dropper.

    Children aged 12 to 18 years: (See Dosage; Adult)


    Baseline serum potassium above 5 mmol/L
    Gastrointestinal haemorrhage
    Hereditary fructose intolerance
    Hyporeninaemic hypoaldosteronism
    Metabolic acidosis
    Renal impairment - glomerular filtration rate below 20ml/minute
    Severe burn
    Uncontrolled Addison's disease

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children under 18 years
    Cardiac impairment
    Decreased gastrointestinal motility
    Gastrointestinal obstruction
    Gastrointestinal stenosis
    Glucose-galactose malabsorption syndrome
    Hepatic impairment
    Hiatus hernia
    History of peptic ulcer
    Renal impairment - glomerular filtration rate 20-60ml/minute

    Not all available brands are licensed for all age groups
    Oral liquid contains propylene glycol
    Presentations with sorbitol unsuitable in hereditary fructose intolerance
    Some formulations contain sucrose
    Discontinue if signs of gastro-intestinal bleeding occur
    Monitor renal function regularly
    Monitor serum electrolytes in patients with cardiac impairment
    Monitor serum electrolytes in patients with renal impairment
    Monitor serum potassium in patients with renal impairment
    Monitor serum potassium periodically
    Discontinue if signs of gastro-intestinal ulceration occur
    Discontinue if early signs of stricture occur
    Interrupt or reduce dose if significant gastrointestinal disturbances occur

    Modified release preparations of potassium chloride should be avoided unless effervescent tablets or liquid preparations are inappropriate.

    Hypomagnesaemia which is diuretic induced can prevent restoration of intracellular deficits of potassium; hypomagnesaemia should be corrected at the same time as hypokalaemia.

    All solid forms of potassium medication are contraindicated in the presence of obstructions in the digestive tract (e.g. resulting from compression of the oesophagus due to dilation of the left atrium or from stenosis of the gut).

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Potassium chloride can be used during pregnancy.

    Briggs (2015) suggests that potassium chloride is safe for use during pregnancy by women who are or could become hypokalaemic. Potassium chloride is a constituent of human tissue and fluid and a good balance needs to be maintained, as both high or low levels can be detrimental to maternal and foetal cardiac function. Due to the gastro-intestinal hypomotility associated with pregnancy, modified release formulations should be avoided and an alternative dosage form may be more appropriate if potassium supplementation is required.


    Potassium chloride can be used during breastfeeding.

    It is expected that this preparation would have little or no effect on breast milk providing normal plasma potassium concentrations are not exceeded. Potassium chloride is found naturally in high concentrations in breast milk, and freely passes in and out. Supplementing the mother is unlikely to have any adverse effect on milk composition and the nursing infant.


    Advise patients to swallow the tablets whole, during meals, with plenty of fluid, while sitting in an upright position or standing.

    Side Effects

    Abdominal cramps
    Abdominal pain
    Gastro-intestinal perforation
    Gastro-intestinal ulceration
    Gastrointestinal bleeding
    Intestinal obstruction
    Irregular pulse
    Muscle weakness
    Tingling in extremities


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: October 2016

    Reference Sources

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 10th edition (2015) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. Wolters Kluwer Health, Philadelphia.

    Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. Accessed on 11 October 2016.

    Paediatric Formulary Committee. BNF for Children (online) London: BMJ Group, Pharmaceutical Press, and RCPCH Publications. Accessed on 11 October 2016.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Kay-Cee-L Syrup. Geistlich Sons Ltd. Revised July 2015.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: PotaChlor 600mg MR Oral Tablets. TriOn Pharma UK. Revised September 2021.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Slow-K Tablets 600mg. Alliance Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Revised May 2015.

    Access the full UK drug database with a FREE Medscape UK Account
    It takes just a few minutes, and you’ll get unlimited access to information on over 11,000 UK drugs.
    Register for Free

    Already a member? Log in

    Medscape UK | Univadis prescription drug monographs & interactions are based on FDB Multilex Content

    FDB Logo

    FDB Disclaimer : FDB Multilex is intended for the use of healthcare professionals and is provided on the basis that the healthcare professionals will retain FULL and SOLE responsibility for deciding what treatment to prescribe or dispense for any particular patient or circumstance.