Medicines and Treatments
The medicines and drugs you may be prescribed may include potassium and magnesium as well as Potassium Sparing Diuretics.
Potassium Specific Medication
Slow Release KCl tablets – which is a potassium chloride extended release tablet. It contains the amount 600mg of potassium chloride (equivalent to 8mEq). As SlowK (the medicine which doctors will usually prescribe) is currently unavailable, ask them to make the prescription for “slow release KCL 600 mg” with the dose on an FP10 prescription form instead, which will enable pharmacists to obtain an equivalent medicine through IDIS. Craig and Hayward (link in the Useful Links page) are particularly helpful with getting this medicine.
Kay-Cee L – This is a Syrup which contains potassium and is normally cherry (if somewhat salty) flavoured. It can be used in patients who have difficulty in taking tablets, although the syrup has a very strong taste.
Other Potassium medicines include:
Sando-K – These tablets are effervescent (fizzy) which dissolve in a glass of water. They can be difficult to take due to the strong salty taste. They also have been found to cause high bicarbonate levels in the blood in some people, so regular blood testing should be done to ensure this doesn’t happen. The advantage of this being effervescent is that they may be good for people who have difficulty in swallowing tablets.
Magnesium Specific Medication
These can come in various forms.
Mag Tab SR – This drug has been reported to produce less gastric problems and is generally tolerated far more in patients. This is because the controlled release helps to minimise possible diarrhoea symptoms. The drug is the only 12hr continuous release magnesium supplement.
Magnesium Oxide (Mag OX and Uro Mag)
These tablets have a high incidence of diarrhoea and gastric disturbance. This can cause difficulties in Gitelman Syndrome (GS) sufferers as any loss of fluids due to either diarrhoea or vomiting will lower levels of potassium and lead to symptomatic problems.
Magnesium Aspartate (Magnaspart)
A powder sachet which needs to be dissolved.
Magnesium Gluconate (Mag-G)
Potassium Sparing Diuretics
Amiloride – Amiloride is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low. Amiloride is used to treat or prevent hypokalemia (low potassium levels in the blood).
Spironlactone – Spironlactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic (water pill) that prevents your body from absorbing too much salt and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low.
Other drugs may include indomethacin, eplerenone, Ranitadine (zantac),and PPI’s to protect the stomach lining (although these can lower magnesium levels in some cases).