This medication is used to make the urine less acidic. This effect helps the kidneys get rid of uric acid, thereby helping to prevent gout and kidney stones. This medication can also prevent and treat certain metabolic problems (acidosis) caused by kidney disease.
Citric acid and citrate salts (which contain potassium and sodium) belong to a class of drugs known as urinary alkalinizers. If you have a condition that requires you to limit your intake of potassium and sodium, your doctor may direct you to take a product that is lower in potassium and sodium.
Swallow this medication with a full glass of water or other liquid (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not crush, chew, or suck the tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing. Do not lie down for 10 minutes after taking this medication. Do not take this medication on an empty stomach.
Your doctor may direct you to eat a low-salt (low-sodium) diet and drink lots of fluids. Follow your doctor's directions closely. Do not use salt substitutes that contain potassium.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or take this more often without your doctor's approval. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
While taking this medication, you may need to test the pH (acidity) of your urine using special paper. The pH will help determine the proper dose. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
An empty tablet shell may appear in your stool. This is harmless because your body has already absorbed the medication.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This drug may cause serious stomach or intestinal problems (e.g., bleeding, blockage, puncture). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: abdominal swelling, black/bloody stools, constipation, dizziness, fast heartbeat, severe stomach/abdominal pain, difficult/painful swallowing, severe vomiting, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
This medication may cause high potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia). Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle cramps/weakness, severe dizziness, slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, restlessness), tingling of the hands/feet, unusually cold skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: underactive adrenal gland (Addison's disease), current bladder infection, uncontrolled diabetes, severe heart disease (e.g., recent heart attack, heart damage), certain stomach/intestinal problems (diabetic gastroparesis, conditions decreasing gut movement, peptic ulcer, blockage), severe kidney disease (e.g., inability to make urine), potassium-restricted diet, high potassium levels, severe loss of body water (dehydration).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: low calcium levels, severe diarrhea, heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat, heart failure), kidney disease, stomach/gut problems (e.g., irritable bowel), severe tissue damage (e.g., severe burns).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: antacids that contain aluminum, aspirin and other salicylates (e.g., salsalate), certain blood pressure medications (e.g., ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril, angiotensin blockers such as losartan), drospirenone, drugs that slow the movement of food/drugs through the esophagus/stomach (e.g., anticholinergics such as belladonna/scopolamine/benztropine, antispasmodics such as glycopyrrolate/oxybutynin, strong narcotic pain medicines such as morphine), eplerenone, certain heart medications (e.g., quinidine, digoxin), lithium, potassium supplements (including salt substitutes), pramlintide, certain "water pills" (potassium-sparing diuretics such as amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene).
If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: slow heartbeat, heart attack, inability to move.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., complete blood count, potassium/sodium/chloride levels, kidney tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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