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Medication Description: Potassium Chloride (Kalii chloridum)

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE (Kalii chloridum).

Synonyms: Potassium chloride, Kalium chloratum, Potassium Chloride.

Colorless crystals or white crystalline powder; odorless; salty in taste. Soluble in water (1: 3), practically insoluble in alcohol.

Potassium is the main intracellular ion, just as the main extracellular ion is sodium. The interaction of these ions is important in maintaining the isotonicity of the cells. The potassium content in human serum is about 5, 11 mmol / l. Potassium ions play a significant role in regulating body functions.

The heart muscle responds to increased potassium levels by decreasing excitability and conductivity. Large doses inhibit automatism and contractility of the myocardium. An increase in the concentration of potassium in the blood by 4 times (which is practically possible only with intravenous administration) leads to cardiac arrest. A decrease in serum potassium increases the risk of arrhythmias when using large doses of digitalis; an increase in potassium concentration reduces the danger of the toxic effect of cardiac glycosides on the heart. Being an antagonist of cardiac glycosides in relation to the effect on the heart rhythm, potassium at the same time does not counteract their positive inotropic action.

Potassium is involved in the process of conducting nerve impulses and transferring them to innervated organs. Introduction to the body of potassium is accompanied by an increase in the content of acetylcholine and the excitation of the sympathetic nervous system; with intravenous administration, there is an increase in adrenaline secretion by the adrenal glands.

Potassium is also required for the implementation of skeletal muscle contractions. It improves muscle contraction in muscular dystrophy, myasthenia.

Recently, the ability of some drugs to influence the passage of potassium ions through membrane potassium channels and to change the intracellular content of these ions has been identified (see Hypotensive drugs, Minoxidil, Oral antidiabetic drugs).

Potassium salts are easily absorbed by ingestion and relatively quickly excreted by the kidneys.

Like other potassium salts (see Potassium acetate), potassium chloride has a moderate diuretic effect.

Indications for use of potassium chloride are hypokalemia (including those associated with the use of hydrochlorothiazide and other saluretics, indomitable vomiting, profuse diarrhea, etc.), intoxication with digitalis preparations, arrhythmias of various origin (associated mainly with electrolyte disturbances and absolute or relative hypokalemia) , hypokalemic form of paroxysmal myoplegia [Potassium chloride is part of a number of drugs for rehydration therapy (see Solutions "Disol", ..., "Quartasol").