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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.
Shake the bottle well before using.
Do not heat this medication because it may not work as well.
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. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon, or use the prescribed number of pre-measured bottles of suspension. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct 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.
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate may decrease your absorption of other medications. Take your other medications as directed by your doctor, usually at least 3 hours before or 3 hours after sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.
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 the dose 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.
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 (non-sorbitol type).
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.
This medication may cause serious (rarely fatal) intestinal problems (such as bleeding, blockage). Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: severe constipation, bloating/swelling/pain in the stomach/abdomen, black/bloody stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: 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.
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.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
This medication does not pass into breast milk and is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store tightly closed according to the directions on the product package, away from light and moisture. Some brands must be refrigerated, and others may be stored at room temperature. Ask your pharmacist for more details about the brand you are using and when it should be discarded. Do not store in the bathroom. 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.
See also How to Use section.
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).
Do not use any laxatives that contain sorbitol with this medication. Doing so may increase your risk of intestinal problems. See also Side Effects section.
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.
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.
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.