Discussions that mention spironolactone

High & Low Blood Pressure board

Hi Zora,

The diuretics most commonly prescribed for blood pressure control tend to deplete our potassium levels. What was your most recent K level? It would appear your doctor believes it to be low, or wants to prevent your serum potassium levels from becoming low. That is why you were told to take the potassium supplements. The amount of potassium a person needs to replace the potassium lost depends on the current K levels, weight, kidney function and other factors.

The dietary potassium (though very good for us!!!) does not correct the potassium loss associated with chloride depletion from diuretics or vomiting. The dietary potassium is coupled to phosphate, not chloride. Doctors prescribe potassium supplements for prevention of hypokalemia. K supplementation is also the safest way to treat mild to moderate hypokalemia. Apparently, 20mEq/day should be enough for prevention of hypokalemia, 40-100mEq/day over a period of days to weeks is needed to treat hypokalemia and restore healthy potassium levels. Your dosage appears to be for prevention.

Our bodies have about 50mEq/kg of potassium. Almost all of it is intracellular. Each decrease by 1mEq in serum K concentration below a level 4.0 results in a loss of 4-5mEq/kg.
It took me months to build up my potassium levels using two or three potassium sparing meds at a time. I can't take the supplements because of a reduced kidney function. Over the course of the last several months, the Hctz has caused a decrease in my K level. I am hoping it won't be reduced any further. I am also on 25g of a potassium-sparing diuretic, Spironolactone, which helps a little bit. I can't take a higher dose.

Taking your supplement twice a day is probably easier on your stomach. If 1/2 of your daily dose upsets your stomach, as you say, twice the amount taken in one dose would make you feel even worse.
I don't know anything about K supplementation because I haven't had to research it. Perhaps other posters can help.

Good luck!