Kayexalate (sodium polystyrene sulfonate) is indicated for the treatment of hyperkalemia. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that orally-administered Kayexalate should not be taken with any other oral medications because it may reduce the effectiveness of those drugs.
Kayexalate was approved in by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1958 to treat hyperkalemia, or dangerously high levels (greater than 6.0 (mmol/L) of potassium. Potassium levels of 6.1 mEq/L to 7.0 mEq/L are considered moderate hyperkalemia, while levels above 7 mEq/L are severe hyperkalemia.
General signs and symptoms of hyperkalemia include:
More serious symptoms include:
Severe cases of hyperkalemia can result in in fatal cardiac standstill (heart stoppage).
Kayexalate can be administered as an oral suspension or in an enema.
The drug works by binding with potassium in the intestines so that it can be removed from the body. However, because of its delayed onset, sodium polystyrene sulfonate should not be used as an emergency treatment for life-threatening hyperkalemia.
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is available as the brand name Kayexalate, as generic versions, and as non-branded generics.
Kayexalate is contraindicated for:
The most serious side effects associated with Kayexalate include:
Other possible side effects include:
In September 2017, the FDA warned that orally-administered Kayexalate should not be taken at the same time as other oral medications, as sodium polystyrene sulfonate binds to many commonly prescribed oral drugs, decreasing the absorption and thus the effectiveness of those medicines.
“Patients should take orally administered prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines at least 3 hours before or 3 hours after sodium polystyrene sulfonate,” the FDA said in a Drug Safety Communication published on September 6, 2017. “Patients should not stop taking their potassium-lowering medicines without talking to their health care professional first. If you have questions or concerns, including about how to take sodium polystyrene sulfonate with other medicines, talk to a pharmacist or other health care professional.”
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