This medication is used to treat a high level of potassium in your blood. Too much potassium in your blood can sometimes cause heart rhythm problems. Sodium polystyrene sulfonate works by helping your body get rid of extra potassium.
Take this medication by mouth, or use it rectally as directed by your doctor.
If you are taking this medication by mouth, take it usually 1 to 4 times a day as directed by your doctor. To prepare the liquid suspension, carefully measure the prescribed dose of the powder and mix it with the prescribed amount of water or flavored syrup as directed. Stir well and drink the entire dose. Stay upright (sitting, standing, or walking) and do not lie down for at least an hour after your dose. Consult your doctor for details.
Prescription and nonprescription products should not be taken at the same time as sodium polystyrene sulfonate. See the Drug Interactions section for details - and talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your medicine schedule.
To give this medication rectally as an enema, use the prescribed dose usually every 6 hours as needed or as directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for directions on how to prepare and mix the dose into a suspension and how to use the enema. Follow instructions for the use of a cleansing enema both before and after your dose of sodium polystyrene sulfonate. The cleansing enema after each rectal dose of this medication should be a non-sodium-containing enema.
Stir the suspension well, and use it soon after mixing. Do not store the mixture for more than 24 hours.
Do not heat this medication because it may not work as well.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Do not use more of this medication or use it for longer than directed because your potassium blood level may drop too low.
Keep all laboratory and medical appointments so your doctor can check your potassium blood level.
Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or constipation may occur. Diarrhea may occur less frequently. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To prevent constipation, eat a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Severe constipation can become very serious. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative. Certain laxatives should not be taken with this medication. See the Drug Interactions section.
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.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: muscle weakness/spasms, fast/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as irritability, confusion, slowed thinking), swelling hands/ankles/feet.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: severe constipation, bloating/swelling/pain in the stomach/abdomen, black/bloody stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, inability to move your muscles (paralysis), seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away 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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
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 using sodium polystyrene sulfonate, 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 contains a large amount of salt (sodium). Do not use salt substitutes that contain potassium without asking your doctor first. If you have any of these conditions, follow your doctor's instructions for limiting the amount of sodium in your diet: kidney problems, heart failure, high blood pressure, swelling hands/ankles/feet.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: stomach/intestine/bowel problems (such as inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstruction, chronic constipation, fecal impaction), low level of potassium in the blood.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be at greater risk for severe constipation.
This medication must not be given by mouth to newborns, especially premature infants. Also, newborns with slow gut function must not use this drug. Caution is advised when using this medication rectally in newborns and children. They may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially severe constipation and intestinal problems.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk, and the effect on a nursing infant is unknown. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: antacids/laxatives that contain aluminum/calcium/magnesium (such as aluminum carbonate, aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide), lithium.
This medication may decrease the absorption of medications (such as levothyroxine) into your body. If you take thyroid medication, take it at least 4 hours before or after using this medication. In fact, this product might decrease the absorption of many medications into your body. The FDA suggests that you take all other products at least six hours before or six hours after using sodium polystyrene sulfonate.
Taking the laxative sorbitol with sodium polystyrene sulfonate by mouth is not recommended because doing so may cause serious intestinal problems in some people. If you are using sodium polystyrene sulfonate rectally with sorbitol, using a non-sodium-containing cleansing enema after the dose of this medication may help to decrease the risk of intestinal side effects. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. 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: mental/mood changes, muscle weakness, fast/irregular heartbeat, slowed breathing, paralysis.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood levels of potassium and other minerals, EKG) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use 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 tightly closed at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. After mixing, use the suspension within 24 hours. Keep all medications 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.
Information last revised July 2016. Copyright(c) 2016 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet