About potassium citrate
|Type of medicine||Alkalinising agent|
|Used for||Mild urinary tract infections such as cystitis|
|Available as||Sachets of powder, effervescent tablets, and oral mixture|
About potassium citrate
Cystitis means inflammation of the bladder. It is usually caused by a urine infection. Typical symptoms are pain when you pass urine and passing urine more frequently. It is particularly common in women. A short course of antibiotics may be prescribed for you, although mild cases often improve on their own without the need for any treatment.
Potassium citrate may help relieve the discomfort in mild cystitis. It works by making the urine less acidic. It can be bought without a prescription at pharmacies and other retail outlets.
Note: if you are pregnant or have certain other medical conditions, you should always be treated with antibiotics to prevent possible complications.
Before taking potassium citrate
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using potassium citrate it is important that your pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant.
- If your kidneys do not work well.
- If you have a heart condition.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take potassium citrate
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand you have been given, and how to take it.
- Follow the dosage instructions on the label.
- If you have been given effervescent tablets - take the tablets dissolved in a glassful of water.
- If you have been given liquid - take two 5 ml spoonsful three times daily, stirred into a glassful of water. Take your doses after meals.
- If you have been given the sachets - empty the contents of a sachet into a glassful of water. Stir it well before drinking.
Getting the most from your treatment
- If your symptoms worsen or if you develop a high temperature then you should see your doctor.
- You might find it helpful to ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. Paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory painkiller may also help to ease the pain and discomfort of cystitis.
- Although it has been said that drinking lots of water may be helpful, there is little evidence for this. Some doctors feel that it does not help and drinking lots may just cause more (painful) toilet trips. You should follow the directions on the label for taking your potassium citrate preparation with water, but other than this, drinking normal amounts of fluid should be sufficient.
- If your symptoms recur within two weeks, you should make an appointment to see your doctor for further advice.
Can potassium citrate cause problems?
This medicine is unlikely to cause any side-effects other than a little stomach upset. If this becomes troublesome, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
|Possible potassium citrate side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling sick||Take your doses after a meal|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store potassium citrate
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Potassium Citrate Mixture; Thornton & Ross Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 2010.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr John Cox|
|Last Checked: 05/09/2012||Document ID: 3222 Version: 24||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.