Generic Name: sodium polystyrene sulfonate (SOE dee um pol ee STEER een SUL foe nate)Brand names: Kayexalate, Kionex, Kalexate
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate affects the exchange of sodium and potassium in the body.
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is used to treat high levels of potassium in the blood, also called hyperkalemia.
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.What is the most important information I should know about sodium polystyrene sulfonate?
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate can be given as a liquid by mouth, through a stomach feeding tube, or as a rectal enema. This medication is usually given 1 to 4 times daily by a healthcare professional in a hospital setting.If possible, before you receive this medication, tell your doctor if you have a bowel obstruction, low blood levels of potassium, heart disease or high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, edema (water weight gain), kidney disease, or if you are constipated or on a low-salt diet.
In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before you are treated with sodium polystyrene sulfonate to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows that you have received this medication.
Tell your caregivers right away if you have any signs that your potassium level is getting too low, such as: pain or fluttering in your chest, uneven heartbeats, feeling irritable or confused, severe muscle weakness, breathing problems, or inability to move your muscles.
Tell your doctor if you also take digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), thyroxine, or a diuretic (water pill).Do not use salt substitutes or take potassium or calcium supplements unless your doctor has told you to. Avoid using antacids or laxatives without your doctor's advice.
You will need to keep using this medication even if you feel fine. Hyperkalemia often has no symptoms that you will notice.What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving sodium polystyrene sulfonate?You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to sodium polystyrene sulfonate, or have certain conditions. Be sure your doctor knows if you have:
low potassium levels (hypokalemia); or
a bowel obstruction.
Before receiving sodium polystyrene sulfonate, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
heart disease or high blood pressure;
congestive heart failure;
edema (water weight gain);
if you are on a low-salt diet.
If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use sodium polystyrene sulfonate, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
In an emergency situation, it may not be possible before treatment to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows that you have received this medication.
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate can be given as a liquid by mouth, through a stomach feeding tube, or as a rectal enema. This medication is usually given 1 to 4 times daily by a healthcare professional in a hospital setting.
The powder form of this medicine is mixed with water, or syrup (to make it taste better if given by mouth).
If you are given the rectal enema, the liquid will be given slowly while you are lying down. You may need to hold the enema in for up to several hours. The sodium polystyrene sulfonate enema is usually followed with a second cleansing enema.
You will need to keep using this medication even if you feel fine. Hyperkalemia often has no symptoms that you will notice.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with sodium polystyrene sulfonate.
Since this medication is usually given in a hospital, it is not likely that you will miss a dose.
Overdose symptoms may include confusion, irritability, trouble thinking or concentrating, muscle weakness, or trouble breathing.
Avoid using antacids or laxatives without your doctor's advice. Antacids or laxatives can make sodium polystyrene sulfonate less effective or cause serious side effects.
Avoid eating or drinking anything that contains sorbitol (a fruit sugar often used as a sweetener in chewing gum, diet drinks, baked goods, or frozen desserts).
pain or fluttering in your chest;
feeling irritable or confused;
increased thirst or urination;
severe muscle weakness;
inability to move your muscles;
black, bloody, or tarry stools;
pain in your lower stomach or rectum; or
swelling, rapid weight gain.
Less serious side effects may include:
diarrhea or constipation;
nausea or vomiting;
upset stomach; or
loss of appetite.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Usual Adult Dose for Hyperkalemia:
The average daily dose is 15 to 60 g. This is best provided by administering 15 g orally 1 to 4 times a day or 30 to 50 g rectally every 6 hours.
Before receiving this medicine, tell your doctor if you also use:
digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);
lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
a diuretic (water pill) such as triamterene (Dyrenium, Maxzide, Dyazide), spironolactone (Aldactone), or amiloride (Midamor).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.