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What Is the Purpose of Potassium Citrate?

Potassium citrate is an acidity regulator used to lower the acid content in urine. Decreases in urine acidity can help prevent the development of kidney stones in individuals with a previous history of stone formation. Potassium citrate is also sometimes used in combination with citric acid as a treatment for high acidity in blood or urine.

 

Kidney stone formation begins with imbalances in the normal contents of your urine, according to the Mayo Clinic. In turn, these imbalances promote the formation of crystals from substances that normally remain diluted in your urine flow. Examples of these substances include calcium, oxalate and uric acid. In some cases, kidney stone formation may be further encouraged by a lack of certain chemicals that normally stop isolated crystals from growing into larger stones.

 

You may receive potassium citrate in order to prevent the development of uric acid or calcium oxalate crystals in your urine, according to DrugWatch. The presence of these crystals can lead to the formation of the most common varieties of kidney stones. Potassium citrate achieves its beneficial effects by reducing urine acidity and restoring chemical imbalances that promote kidney stone formation.

 

You may receive potassium citrate in order to prevent the development of uric acid or calcium oxalate crystals in your urine, according to DrugWatch. The presence of these crystals can lead to the formation of the most common varieties of kidney stones. Potassium citrate achieves its beneficial effects by reducing urine acidity and restoring chemical imbalances that promote kidney stone formation.

 

DrugWatch lists common side effects of potassium citrate use that include stomach pain, loose bowels, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. You can ease or minimize some of these effects by taking your prescribed dosages soon after eating a meal. More serious potential side effects of potassium citrate use include muscle twitching or pain, seizures, bloody or black stools, heartbeat irregularities, weakness, confusion, dizziness, tingling or numbness in your extremities, swelling and severe stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea.

 

In some cases, your doctor may choose to monitor your heart function, blood potassium levels or blood electrolyte levels while you are using potassium citrate, Drugs.com notes. You may undergo these forms of testing either to track treatment progress or to check for potential treatment side effects. When used in children, products that combine potassium citrate and citric acid may trigger high potassium levels or diarrhea, the Nemours Foundation reports.

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