PMID: 7370875Apr 19, 1980Paper

Hypokalemia during the treatment of arterial hypertension with diuretics

Canadian Medical Association Journal
G LemieuxA Gougoux

Abstract

In a study of 50 patients with uncomplicated arterial hypertension the administration of hydrochlorothiazide, 50 to 100 mg daily or every other day, with or without reserpine, 0.25 mg daily, resulted in a fall in the mean blood pressure from 182/113 to 144/92 mm Hg. The mean duration of therapy was 19 months. The mean serum potassium concentration was 4.3 mmol/l before the onset of therapy. It fell during the first 6 weeks of treatment, but seldom below 3.5 mmol/l, then rose gradually and spontaneously to 4.1 mmol/l after 19 months of therapy. All the patients remained asymptomatic. These findings bring into question the routine use of potassium supplements or a potassium-sparing diuretic, such as spironolactone or triamterene, during the treatment of hypertension with diuretics such as the thiazides. The use of potassium supplements or a potassium-sparing agent may induce hyperkalemia in spite of the simultaneous administration of a diuretic that acts more proximally. Since hyperkalemia is potentially lethal, the serum potassium concentration should be carefully monitored in any patient receiving potassium supplements or a potassium-sparing agent.

Related Concepts

Carbonic Acid Ions
Polychemotherapy
Sectrazide
Hypertensive Disease
Hypokalemia
Monitoring, Physiologic
Potassium
V-Serp

Related Feeds

Antihypertensive Agents: Mechanisms of Action

Antihypertensive drugs are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) which aims to prevent the complications of high blood pressure, such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Discover the latest research on antihypertensive drugs and their mechanism of action here.