Lasix w/o KCl 
Author Message
 Lasix w/o KCl

My doctor has recently put me on Lasix for swelling of my lower legs,
hands, and face.  (I'm a 33 year old female who has had IDDM for over
20 years with a bit of neuropathy in the legs and feet).  Since Lasix
depletes the body of potassium, he's also having me take liquid KCl.

Liquid KCl is the worst thing I have ever tasted -- I have to steel
myself to take it each day.  It'll be a month before I see my doctor
again to be able to ask him for an alternative form of KCl or an
alternative treatment.  I don't think I'm going to be able to {*filter*}
down the KCl everyday until then.  So, I was wondering what the
effects would be if I were to stop taking the KCl.  I know a lack of
potassium would cause irratic heart rhythm, but would a lack of
potassium cause any serious problems????

Thanks,
Vicki



Sun, 29 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 Lasix w/o KCl


Quote:
> hands, and face.  (I'm a 33 year old female who has had IDDM for over
> 20 years with a bit of neuropathy in the legs and feet).  Since Lasix
> depletes the body of potassium, he's also having me take liquid KCl.

> Liquid KCl is the worst thing I have ever tasted -- I have to steel
> myself to take it each day.  It'll be a month before I see my doctor
> again to be able to ask him for an alternative form of KCl or an
> alternative treatment.  I don't think I'm going to be able to {*filter*}
> down the KCl everyday until then.  So, I was wondering what the
> effects would be if I were to stop taking the KCl.  I know a lack of
> potassium would cause irratic heart rhythm, but would a lack of
> potassium cause any serious problems????

> Thanks,
> Vicki

I can believe it doesn't taste very nice! However, I'd try and
stick it out until your next visit as at least then you can honestly
say you've given it a fair trial.

I wouldn't advise you to stop any prescribed medication on the advice
of anyone but your own medics and people acting in their best interests.
However, there are alternatives to KCl, such as the potassium-sparing
agents, which prevent body loss of potassium. Having said that, there
are reasons (which could not be assessed without looking at your medical
records) to justify its use over other supplements.

For example, you are an insulin-dependent/type 1 diabetic. You may
find that diuretics, although positively necessary in some cases, may
slightly alter your insulin requirements. This is occasionally the case
with potassium-sparing agents as well, maybe your doctor considers
that this is reason enough to use KCl.

In conclusion, it is worth discussing this aspect of your treatment
with your doctor, you need not necessarily be condemned to long-term
KCl liquid. However, don't go changing things without consulting your
doctor first, it could potentially make his job (and your life) much
more "complicated" than it need be.

Ian.

PS: Additionally, there are other KCl-containing preps here,
    so I presume there are other (potentially more palatable ones)
    wherever you are as well. So, maybe a complete change of medication
    won't be immediately necessary.



Sun, 29 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 Lasix w/o KCl



Quote:
>Liquid KCl is the worst thing I have ever tasted -- I have to steel
>myself to take it each day.  It'll be a month before I see my doctor

Pick up the phone and call him.  There are plenty of pill forms
of KCl that work just fine.  (Micro K is my favorite in terms of
patient tolerance, but there are lots of others.)  There is almost
no reason to ever use liquid KCl for chronic therapy other than that
it is cheap.
--
David Rind



Sun, 29 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 Lasix w/o KCl

I concur with David (see we agree sometimes ;-).  Pick up the phone and
call your doctor.  He can just phone your local pharmacy for a change in
potassium formulation.

On an aside, some people like potassium as a liquid.  They are also the
people who believe medicine should be bitter.

--
Andrew Chung
Homepage at:
http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~achung
Mirrored at:
http://www.emory.edu/WHSC/MED/HTN/~achung/



Sun, 29 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 Lasix w/o KCl


Quote:

>My doctor has recently put me on Lasix for swelling of my lower legs,
>hands, and face.  (I'm a 33 year old female who has had IDDM for over
>20 years with a bit of neuropathy in the legs and feet).  Since Lasix
>depletes the body of potassium, he's also having me take liquid KCl.

>Liquid KCl is the worst thing I have ever tasted -- I have to steel
>myself to take it each day.  It'll be a month before I see my doctor
>again to be able to ask him for an alternative form of KCl or an
>alternative treatment.  I don't think I'm going to be able to {*filter*}
>down the KCl everyday until then.  So, I was wondering what the
>effects would be if I were to stop taking the KCl.  I know a lack of
>potassium would cause irratic heart rhythm, but would a lack of
>potassium cause any serious problems????

>Thanks,
>Vicki

Vicki,  First, you want to be sure the swelling in your legs isn't the
result of diabetic kidney disease.  The kidney may leak protein, which
can lead to swelling of the legs, and is a serious sign in diabetes.
Are you taking any NSAID's?  They often cause swelling.  Are you
already on a salt restricted diet?  Many diabetics are being treated
with ACE inhibitors for either {*filter*} pressure control or reduction in
kidney damage or both, and these have a potassium-sparing effect.  I
often don't have to give potassium supplements when patients take ACE
inhibitors plus diuretics.  Several diuretics are "potassium sparing"
that is, they don't cause potassium loss.  If your kidneys are in good
shape, these are good alternatives to Lasix.  A high sodium diet
increases the potassium losses when one is taking Lasix, so be sure to
restrict the salt you eat (this includes the salt that is already in
the food!).  KCl comes in tablet forms, too.  Some effervescent KCl
powders can be used, but they may be less effective  if they are
potassium compounds without the chloride.  H2


Tue, 31 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 Lasix w/o KCl

Quote:

> Vicki,  First, you want to be sure the swelling in your legs isn't the
> result of diabetic kidney disease.  The kidney may leak protein, which
> can lead to swelling of the legs, and is a serious sign in diabetes.

Is there any treatment for this kind of protein leak?

My father's recent {*filter*} tests showed a microalbumin reading of 113,
and his doctor did not recommend any treatment.

Also what does it mean that the proteinuria is "non-nephrotic"?

Marty Braff



Fri, 03 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 Lasix w/o KCl



Quote:

>> result of diabetic kidney disease.  The kidney may leak protein, which
>> can lead to swelling of the legs, and is a serious sign in diabetes.
>Is there any treatment for this kind of protein leak?
>My father's recent {*filter*} tests showed a microalbumin reading of 113,
>and his doctor did not recommend any treatment.
>Also what does it mean that the proteinuria is "non-nephrotic"?

Diabetic kidney disease can be slowed by the use of ACE inhibitors.
I think most diabetologists, at this point, would recommend their
use in anyone who has diabetes and evidence of kidney damage, if
there is no contraindication.

"Non-nephrotic" refers to the amount of protein being lost per
day.  There is an arbitrary cutoff (usually at 3 grams/day) of
protein loss between "nephrotic range" and "non-nephrotic range"
proteinuria.

--
David Rind



Fri, 03 Sep 1999 03:00:00 GMT
 
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