The Available Treatment Options For Hyperkalemia



Hyperkalemia is a condition in which too much potassium is present in your blood. This condition can happen due to conditions like kidney problems or can happen suddenly. If untreated, the condition can affect your heart and other body parts. Therefore, you need to get proper treatment for hyperkalemia from an adult primary care physician at a community clinic.

Emergency Treatment Options 

The emergency treatment options available for the condition include:

  • IV calcium
  • Inhaled albuterol
  • IV glucose and insulin
  • IV sodium bicarbonate

These treatment options have immediate effects and start to work in minutes by transferring the potassium out of the blood and into the cells. Sometimes, the patient might need dialysis that can help filter out the excess potassium present in the blood of the person. 

Maintenance Medications For Hyperkalemia

Even if the condition is not considered a crisis, the person needs to get the potassium levels down. Some medications used in affordable health clinics can help lower the levels of potassium. These include:

  • Sodium bicarbonate, that can help transfer the potassium into the cells. 
  • Water pills, that can help remove extra fluids from the body and thereby get rid of the excess potassium through the urine. 
  • Sodium polystyrene sulfonate, that can help remove potassium via the intestine before its absorption. 
  • Albuterol, that can help increase the insulin levels in the blood and thereby transfer the potassium into cells. 
  • Patiromer that can bind to potassium present in the intestines. 

Other Medications 

Visiting affordable and low income clinics in your area will let you ensure effective treatment for hyperkalemia. The health professional will let you know if you have to stop taking other medications to decrease the levels of potassium in your blood. Some of the commonly used medications can contribute to a higher level of potassium in your blood and these include:

Drugs Used To Control High Blood Pressure: some of these drugs can block the action of a hormone that can control the levels of potassium.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: NSAIDs like naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen can lead to increased potassium levels in your blood. 

The presence of too much potassium in your food can also lead to high levels of potassium in the blood if your kidneys are not in good health. You can visit low income clinics in your area and consult with a health professional to understand the food items that you need to cut back on.


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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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