WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Anaesthesia
(1989; 60 pages) [French] Voir le document au format PDF
Table des matières
Afficher le documentPreface
Afficher le documentIntroduction
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuPremedication
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuGeneral anaesthetics and oxygen
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuLocal anaesthetics
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuNon-opioid analgesics
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuOpioid analgesics and antagonists
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuMuscle relaxants and cholinesterase inhibitors
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuBlood substitutes
Fermer ce répertoireSolutions for correcting water and electrolyte imbalance
Afficher le documentCompound solution of sodium lactate
Afficher le documentGlucose
Afficher le documentGlucose with sodium chloride
Afficher le documentSodium chloride
Afficher le documentPotassium chloride
Ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuAntacid for use in obstetric practice
Afficher le documentAnaesthesia at the District Hospital
Afficher le documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
Afficher le documentBack cover

Potassium chloride

Group: electrolyte-replacement solution
Injectable solution: 1.5 mmol/ml in 20-ml ampoule

General information

Potassium is the major intracellular ion. Maintenance of physiological concentrations is vital for many essential intracellular metabolic processes.

Clinical information


Prevention and treatment of potassium depletion during prolonged parenteral fluid therapy.

Dosage and administration

Individual requirements must be determined by clinical assessment and, whenever possible, by estimating plasma potassium concentrations, which should be maintained between 3.5 and 5 mmol/litre.

Potassium chloride solution (1.5 mmol/ml) must always be diluted before use. The normal daily requirement of 3 g (40 mmol) of potassium chloride should be thoroughly mixed in 1 litre of infusion fluid. The rate of infusion should not exceed 10 mmol/hour except in cases of severe hypokalaemia when the rate of administration may be raised to as much as 40 mmol/hour.

Electrocardiographic and electrolyte monitoring is essential. particularly at high infusion rates.


• Severe renal impairment.
• Untreated Addison’s disease.

Potassium should never be administered when the plasma concentration exceeds 5 mmol/litre. Since release of intracellular potassium from traumatized tissues results in hyperkalaemia, potassium chloride solution should not be given to patients with severe burns or crush injuries, or within 24 hours of major surgery.


An adequate urine flow must be established before potassium chloride solution is infused. Close clinical observation for signs of hyperkalaemia and, whenever possible, biochemical monitoring of plasma potassium concentrations should be continued throughout therapy.

Patients additionally receiving digitalis glycosides require particularly careful clinical and biochemical monitoring since they are at particular risk of ventricular dysrhythmias.


Hyperkalaemia can result in sudden death from cardiac dysrhythmia. Warning signs and symptoms include distal paraesthesiae, apathy, muscular weakness, listless-ness, mental confusion, cold skin and grey pallor. Cardiovascular collapse secondary to cardiac dysrhythmia or cardiac arrest is a terminal event.

Treatment of hyperkalaemia

Infusion of potassium chloride solution should be suspended immediately when there is clinical or laboratory evidence of hyperkalaemia. Glucose (50 ml of a 500 mg/ml solution) together with 5 International Units of soluble insulin should be administered intravenously to facilitate intracellular uptake of potassium. If metabolic acidosis is present, an infusion of 50 ml of 84 mg/ml sodium bicarbonate should then be given at 1 ml/minute, whenever possible under continuous cardiac monitoring. Should a potentially serious dysrhythmia develop, calcium gluconate (10 ml of a 100 mg/ml solution) should be given intravenously. This dose may be repeated at 2-minute intervals for as long as electrocardiographic abnormalities persist.

Rapid reduction of serum potassium concentrations in “digitalized” patients may induce digitalis toxicity.


Potassium chloride solution should be stored in ampoules.

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Le Portail d'information - Médicaments essentiels et produits de santé a été conçu et est maintenu par l'ONG Human Info. Dernière mise à jour: le 29 octobre 2018