To avoid potassium intoxication, do not infuse solutions rapidly. In patients with severe renal insufficiency, administration of potassium chloride may cause potassium intoxication and life threatening hyperkalemia.
The administration of intravenous solutions can cause fluid and/or solute overload resulting in dilution of serum electrolyte concentrations, overhydration, congested states or pulmonary edema.
The risk of dilutional states is inversely proportional to the electrolyte concentration. The risk of solute overload causing congested states with peripheral and pulmonary edema is directly proportional to the electrolyte concentration.
WARNING: This product contains aluminum that may be toxic. Aluminum may reach toxic levels with prolonged parenteral administration if kidney function is impaired. Premature neonates are particularly at risk because their kidneys are immature, and they require large amounts of calcium and phosphate solutions, which contain aluminum.
Research indicates that patients with impaired kidney function, including premature neonates, who receive parenteral levels of aluminum at greater than 4 to 5 mcg/kg/day accumulate aluminum at levels associated with central nervous system and bone toxicity. Tissue loading may occur at even lower rates of administration.
Clinical evaluation and periodic laboratory determinations are necessary to monitor changes in fluid balance, electrolyte concentrations, and acid-base balance during prolonged parenteral therapy or whenever the condition of the patient warrants such evaluation. Significant deviations from normal concentrations may require the use of additional electrolyte supplements, or the use of electrolyte-free dextrose solutions to which individualized electrolyte supplements may be added.
Potassium therapy should be guided primarily by serial electrocardiograms, especially in patients receiving digitalis. Serum potassium levels are not necessarily indicative of tissue potassium levels. Solutions containing potassium should be used with caution in the presence of cardiac disease, particularly in the presence of renal disease, and in such instances, cardiac monitoring is recommended.
Solutions containing dextrose should be used with caution in patients with overt or known subclinical diabetes mellitus, or carbohydrate intolerance for any reason.
If the administration is controlled by a pumping device, care must be taken to discontinue pumping action before the container runs dry or air embolism may result.
Teratogenic Effects: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with potassium chloride. It is also not known whether potassium chloride can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Potassium chloride should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.