sodium polystyrene sulfonate (generic name)

Kayexalate (brand name)

It is used to treat too much potassium in the body
(SOE dee um pol ee STYE reen SUHL fuh neyt)
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What is this medicine?

SODIUM POLYSTYRENE SULFONATE (SOE dee um pol ee STYE reen SUHL fuh neyt) takes potassium out of the body by binding to it in the intestines. It is used to treat too much potassium in the body.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • constipation or gut obstruction
  • edema or water retention
  • heart failure
  • high blood pressure
  • low levels of calcium or potassium in the blood
  • low sodium diet
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to sodium polystyrene, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is usually given in a hospital or clinic setting. It may be given by mouth or rectally. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The powder must be mixed with water, syrup, or other liquid before using. Use mixture within 24 hours. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • sorbitol, unless your doctor tells you to

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • antacids with aluminum or magnesium
  • digoxin
  • laxatives with aluminum or magnesium
  • lithium
  • thyroxine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

See your doctor for regular check ups. You will need important blood work and other testing done while you are taking this medicine.

You may need to be on a special diet while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.

Talk to your doctor about what to do if you are constipated.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • black or tar-like stool
  • breathing problems
  • confusion
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • increased thirst
  • muscle spasms or cramps
  • passing large amounts of urine
  • rectal or lower stomach pain
  • slowed or trouble thinking
  • unusual swelling or water retention
  • unusual muscle weakness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation or diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Use any mixture in 24 hours or throw it away. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: October 19, 2011
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