Hypokalemia secondary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: : Alieh Behjat, M.D.[2]


Administration of potassium supplements and treating the underlying disease is the primary measure in secondary prevention of hypokalemia.

Secondary prevention

There are appropriate measures as secondary prevention of hypokalemia in patients, who are susceptible more or have ongoing potassium losses, including:[1]

Prevention of hypokalemia in patients using diuretics

Administering K-sparing diuretics is the most suitable preventive option. However, hyperkalemia should be considered in patients with diabetes and older cases.[2]

Prevention of hypokalemia in critically-ill cases

Prescribing potassium preventively (72-144 mmol/L daily) as a maintenance therapy for ill patients with normal K+ and Cr on admission would decrease harmful hypokalemia episodes, and severe nursing cares.[3]

Prevention of hypokalemia in patients undergoing abdominal surgery

One of the most frequent drawbacks of extreme abdominal operations is hypokalemia. For inhibiting drug-induced hypokalemia, medications' complications must be considered. Moreover, blood sampling for screening the potassium (once on admission and four times after that) and administrating potassium supplements would result in better detection, treatment, and fast track recovery of cases who are undergoing abdominal operations. [4]


  1. Mandal, Anil (2014). Textbook of nephrology. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd. ISBN 9789350905326.
  2. Hollenberg NK (1987). "Preventing hypokalemia". Complicat Card Patient. 1 (2): 2, 32. PMID 11539714.
  3. Klions, Howard A.; Menhart, Cinderella J.; Fridline, Mark; Scotto, Carrie J. (2014). "Preventing Hypokalemia in Critically Ill Patients". American Journal of Critical Care. 23 (2): 145–149. doi:10.4037/ajcc2014946. ISSN 1062-3264.
  4. Lu G, Yan Q, Huang Y, Zhong Y, Shi P (June 2013). "Prevention and control system of hypokalemia in fast recovery after abdominal surgery". Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 74: 68–73. doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2013.02.004. PMC 3862196. PMID 24384576.

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