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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.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 4 times a day after meals and at bedtime. To help prevent diarrhea, take each dose after a meal. To prevent stomach upset/injury, mix your prescribed dose of medication in cold water or juice as directed. Drink the entire mixture slowly. If you still have stomach upset, mixing your dose in a larger amount of liquid may help unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further instructions.
The liquid form of this medication must be mixed with at least 4 - 8 ounces (120 - 240 milliliters) of water before taking. Shake the bottle well before each dose and carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you are using the powdered/crystal form of this medication, mix the contents of the packet in at least 3/4 cup (6 ounces or 180 milliliters) of cool water or juice before taking.
Refrigerating the mixture before drinking may improve the taste. Drink more water or juice after taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
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.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain may occur. Mixing the medication with water or juice, taking it after meals, and drinking more fluids will help prevent these side effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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 any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: severe stomach/abdominal pain, tingling/numbness of the hands/feet, weakness.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, restlessness), muscle spasms, seizures, bloody/black/tarry stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
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.
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), severe heart disease (e.g., recent heart attack, heart damage), 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, heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat, heart failure), kidney disease, stomach/gut problems (e.g., peptic ulcers, irritable bowel).
Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. Protect from heat. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
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, eplerenone, certain heart medications (e.g., quinidine, digoxin), lithium, potassium supplements, 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 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: slow heartbeat, muscle spasms, seizures.
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.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., potassium levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.