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Potassium (K) in Urine

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Taking potassium supplements.
  • Taking medicines, such as antibiotics that contain potassium (such as a type of penicillin g), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), heparin, insulin, glucose, corticosteroids, diuretics, medicines used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease, and natural licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
  • The overuse of laxatives.
  • Severe vomiting.
  • Failing to collect exactly 24 hours of urine.

What To Think About

  • Potassium levels can also be checked in a blood test. To learn more, see the topic Potassium (K) in Blood.
  • Doctors may look at urine potassium and blood potassium levels to see whether conditions or medicines may be causing fluid or electrolyte imbalances. Urine potassium levels are often high when blood levels are low or low when blood levels are high. Urine potassium levels are affected by medicines and hormones.

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAvery L. Seifert, MD - Urology

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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