How can I monitor my potassium level?
Your doctor will do a simple blood test to check your potassium level.
You can ask them to do this at every appointment. A potassium level over 5.0mEq/L
is classed as high potassium (hyperkalemia).1
How is high potassium treated?
There are different options that your doctor may consider when managing and treating your high potassium.
You can discuss with them which of the following approaches is most suitable for you:
Reducing or stopping your current medications
Your doctor may consider lowering or stopping the dose of other medications you take that cause high potassium. Although this may help to lower your potassium levels, it’s important to note that it may also have an impact on your other conditions, which you can find out more about on the Long-term impact page.
Treatments to lower your potassium level
Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe you with a medication to reduce your potassium level. There are a range of different medications available, so it’s important to talk to your doctor so you can discuss which one best suits your needs.
Potassium binders (e.g. calcium polystyrene sulfonate, sodium polystyrene sulfonate, patiromer sorbitex calcium, sodium zirconium cyclosilicate)
Remove potassium from your body by exchanging it for sodium or calcium in your colon.5 There are a number of potassium binders available, and your doctor will be able to explain the benefits of the different options.
Diuretics (e.g. furosemide)
Increases the removal of potassium through your kidneys when you urinate.4
The treatment approaches outlined above are not applicable for acute high potassium, as this will require treatment in an emergency setting.4
Talk to your doctor about which high
potassium approach is right for you
How should I take my
If you and your doctor decide that potassium binders are the most suitable treatment for you, it is important to take them regularly as prescribed to help protect your health.
Tips for taking potassium binders
- Take your potassium binder at the same time each day (such as with your afternoon coffee or snack), so it becomes easier to remember
- Set a reminder notification on your phone or another device
- Ask a loved one to check in with you to make sure you’ve taken your treatment
- Ask your doctor what to do if you accidentally miss a dose
- Keep a list of your treatments at home and in your wallet
Discuss your high potassium with your doctor at every visit and get them to check your potassium level each time. This will help you keep track of how well your treatment is working so you can feel more confident that your condition is being controlled effectively.
Download the 'Personal Record' and
'Talking to your Doctor' documents, to
help prepare for your next appointment
1. Rastegar A, et al. Postgrad Med J 2001;77:759–64. 2. Jin A, et al. BMJ Open 2020;10:e039472. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039472. 3. Khanagavi J et al. Arch Med Sci 2004;10(2):251–7. 4. Dunn JD, et al. Am J Manag Care 2015;21:S307–15. 5. Chaitman M, et al. P T 2016;41(1):43–50.