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Generic Name: Sodium polystyrene sulfonate [SOE-dee-um-pol-ee-STEER-een-SUL-foe-nate].
Brand Names: Kalexate, Kayexalate, and Kionex.
Drug Class: Cation exchange resins.

What is kalexate?

Kalexate bonds itself to potassium within the digestive tract. This prevents your body from taking in excessive amounts of potassium. Kalexate is a treatment for excessive levels of potassium in the blood. It is often referred to as hyperkalemia. Kalexate is different than other medications because it is absorbed into the intestines of your body without being taken up into your bloodstream. Kalexate is also employed for other purposes that are not covered in this guideline.

Side effects of Kalexate

See a doctor immediately. If you are experiencing symptoms that are warning signs of an allergic response,face, hives,ives; trouble breathing, and swelling of your lips, face and tongue,

Kalexate could cause severe adverse effects. Stop taking Kalexate and consult your physician immediately if you suffer from:

  • Stomach pain, pain in the rectal.
  • Extreme constipation, stomach pain that is severe constipation, bloating.
  • Fever, chills, vomiting.
  • Thoughts, confusion, feelings of anger and confusion.
  • Low potassium: leg constipation, cramps, unsteady heartbeats, fluttering of your chest, thirsty or increased urine, sensation of tingling or numbness, muscles becoming weak or sluggish.
  • Low levels of calcium—muscle spasms or contractions, numbness or sensation (around your mouth or even in your toes and fingers).
  • Symptoms of stomach bleeding, such as bloody or tarry stool, coughing up blood, or vomit that appears like coffee grounds.

Common adverse consequences of Kalexate could include:

  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Diarrhea, constipation.
  • Loss of appetite.

This isn't an exhaustive list of all the side effects. Other side effects could occur. Consult your physician to seek medical advice on the effects. You can report any symptoms to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Do not take Kalexate in the event of low levels of potassium or constipation. Do not give this medication in liquid form (by mouth) to a baby who is just born. Avoid taking any other medication in the mouth for 3 hours prior to or 3 hours after taking Kalexate (or six hours prior to or after in case you suffer from digestive problems).

Before you take this drug

Kalexate is not a good choice. Kalexate, in case you are allergic to it or suffer from:

  • Low levels of potassium (hypokalemia) Low potassium levels (hypokalemia).
  • An obstruction of the bowel.

Speak to your doctor if you have ever suffered from:

  • Heart disease (also known as hypertension).
  • An insufficient immune system that is caused by certain medications.
  • Extreme constipation or other bowel issues.
  • Kidney disease (or if you're on dialysis).
  • An electrolyte imbalance (such as a low level of calcium, potassium, and magnesium levels in the blood).
  • Fluid retention.
  • Severe burns that are severe.
  • A bowel problem or an operation to treat your intestines
  • If you are dehydrated.
  • If you're on a-diet that is low in salt.

Kalexate isn't absorbed into the bloodstream and is therefore not thought to cause harm during the course of pregnancy or while nursing a child. Consult your physician if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

How to take Kalexate?

Follow the directions on the label of your prescription and also read the medication guides or instructions sheets. Follow the medication exactly as prescribed. Kalexate is available as a liquid through the mouth, via a stomach feeding tube, or in an enema rectal. Kalexate in liquid form should not be given orally to babies who have just been born. Don't use the drug orally or rectally in the case of a baby with poor digestion due to surgery or other medications. For oral administration of this medication, mix Kalexate powder with water. Mix kalexate powder in water or mix it with jam or honey to improve the taste. Be careful not to inhale the oral powder when you're making an intake.

Avoid mixing the powder into a beverage that is a source of potassium, like orange juice. The rectal enema type of this medication is typically provided by a health expert. The enema is inserted slowly as you lie down. It is possible to keep your body under the enema for at least a few hours. The Kalexate enema is usually followed by a second cleansing enema. You'll require frequent medical tests to help your physician determine the duration of treatment for your condition with Kalexate. Use this medicine even if you feel well. The most common signs of hyperkalemia are those that you'll not notice until the potassium levels are extremely low. Place it in a cool, dry place free of heat and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medication as quickly as you are able, but take a break from your missed dose if you are close to the time for the next dose. Avoid taking two doses at once.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the Poison Help line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Do not use anti-acids and laxatives without a doctor's recommendation. Laxatives or antacids may alter the effectiveness of Kalexate, making it less effective or causing serious adverse effects. Avoid using calcium supplements, potassium supplements, or salt substitutes while you take Kalexate unless your physician has advised you to. Avoid drinking or eating anything containing the ingredient sorbitol (a fructose sugar that is often used to sweeten chewing gum, diet beverages, baked goods, and frozen desserts).

Interaction with other drugs

Kalexate may make it more difficult for the body to absorb the medicines that you swallow. Be sure to avoid taking any other medication for 3 hours prior to or after you have taken this medication.

  • If you suffer from an illness that affects the digestion process, do not take other medications by mouth for at least six hours prior to or within six hours following the time you take Kalexate.

Discuss with your doctor the other medications you take. Certain medications could have an effect on Kalexate, particularly:

  • Digoxin, digitalis.
  • Lithium.
  • Thyroxine.
  • Medications that reduce the strength of your immune system, such as cancer medications, steroids, and medications to hinder organ donation rejection.

This list isn't exhaustive. Other drugs can interact with Kalexate, which includes medications that are prescribed and available over the counter, vitamins, and herbal products. There are many other possible interactions between drugs. which are not included here.