High Blood Pressure
Good sources of potassium include bananas, citrus juices (such as orange juice), avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod, chicken, and other meats.
How to Take It ?
Potassium supplements, other than the small amount included in a multivitamin, should be taken only under your doctor's supervision. Do not give potassium supplements to a child unless your doctor tells you to.
The recommended daily intakes of dietary potassium are listed below :
- Infants birth - 6 months: 500 mg or 13 mEq
- Infants 7 months - 12 months: 700 mg or 18 mEq
- Children 1 year: 1,000 mg or 26 mEq
- Children 2 - 5 years: 1,400 mg or 36 mEq
- Children 6 - 9 years: 1,600 mg or 41 mEq
- Children over 10 years: 2,000 mg or 51 mEq*
- 2,000 mg or 51 Meq, including for pregnant and nursing women
Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Older adults should talk to their doctor before taking potassium supplements.
Side effects can include diarrhea, stomach irritation, and nausea. At higher doses, muscle weakness, slowed heart rate, and abnormal heart rhythm may occur. Contact your health care provider if you develop severe stomach pain, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or other symptoms.
People with hyperkalemia or kidney disease should not take potassium supplements.
People who take ACE inhibitors, potassium-sparing diuretics, or the antibiotic trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra) should not take potassium.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): People who have poor kidney function and take NSAIDs are at higher risk.
- ACE inhibitors: These drugs treat high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, some chronic kidney diseases, migraines, and scleroderma. People who take ACE inhibitors and also take NSAIDs, potassium-sparing diuretics, or salt substitutes may be particularly vulnerable to hyperkalemia (too much potassium). A rise in potassium from ACE inhibitors may also be more likely in people with poor kidney function and diabetes. ACE inhibitors include :
- Benazepril (Lotensin)
- Captopril (Capoten)
- Enlapril (Vasotec)
- Fosinopril (Monopril)
- Lisinopril (Zestril)
- Moexipril (Univasc)
- Peridopril (Aceon)
- Ramipril (Altace)
- Trandolapril (Mavik)
- Heparin (used for blood clots)
- Cyclosporine (used to suppress the immune system)
- Trimethoprimand sulfamethoxazole, called Bactrim or Septra (an antibiotic)
- Beta-blockers: Used to treat high blood pressure, glaucoma, migraines
- Atenolol (Tenormin)
- Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL)
- Propranolol (Inderal)
- Thiazide diuretics
- Chlorothiazide (Diuril)
- Indapamide (Lozol)
- Metolzaone (Zaroxolyn)
- Loop diuretics
- Furosemide (Lasix)
- Bumetanide (Bumex)
- Torsemide (Demadex)
- Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
- Amphotericin B (Fungizone)
- Fluconazole (Diflucan): Used to treat fungal infections
- Theophylline (TheoDur): Used for asthma