Sodium polystyrene sulfonate (By mouth)

Introduction

Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate (SOE-dee-um pol-ee-STYE-reen SUL-foe-nate)

Treats hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium in the blood).

Brand Name(s)

Kayexalate, Kionex

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
  • This medicine comes as a liquid suspension and as a powder for suspension that is mixed with water or syrup. If you or your child are not able to swallow the liquid, the medicine can be given in the stomach using a special tube.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake the bottle well before each use.
  • Mix the powder with 3 to 4 milliliters (mL) of water or syrup. Each dose of the powder must be mixed with a liquid right before you take it. Stir the powder mixture to dissolve the medicine. Do not store the liquid mixture to take later. Use it while in an upright position within 24 hours after it is mixed.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not heat this medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how sodium polystyrene sulfonate works. Tell your doctor if you are also using digoxin, digitoxin, lithium, sorbitol, thyroxine, or antacids or laxatives that contain aluminum or magnesium.
  • Take this medicine at least 3 hours before or after taking other oral medicines. If your stomach takes too long to empty food (gastroparesis), take this medicine 6 hours before or after other oral medicines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, heart rhythm problems (including arrhythmia, QT prolongation), heart failure, high blood pressure, severe swelling or bloating, or a history of stomach or bowel problems (including constipation) or surgery. Tell your doctor if you are on a low-salt diet or if you do not have any bowel movements after a surgery.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Bowel problems (including necrosis, bleeding, constipation, perforation)
    • Electrolyte imbalance
    • Increased risk for bronchitis or bronchopneumonia when the powder form is inhaled
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • Chest pain, cough, difficulty breathing
  • Dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Fast or uneven heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps in your hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  • Muscle spasms or twitching
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Seizures
  • Severe constipation or stomach pain
  • Trouble thinking clearly, or feeling confused or grouchy
  • Unusual weakness
  • Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or stomach upset

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/4/2017

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