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April 24, 1967

A Liquid Preparation of Potassium Chloride

JAMA. 1967;200(4):349. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120170121041

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To the Editor:—  Boley and coworkers (199:215, 1967) state that potassium citrate and potassium gluconate in slow-release-form tablets appear to be safe for oral administration. Safety of administration is not a measure of effectiveness of a drug. The Committee on Therapeutic Agents at the Veterans Administration Research Hospital has, on numerous instances, discussed the topic of small-bowel ulceration resulting from oral administration of enteric-coated and other tablet forms of potassium chloride, which produce high local concentrations.While potassium salts, other than the chlorides, such as potassium gluconate and effervescent potassium salts, may appear to offer a greater margin of safety, it is the opinion of the committee that potassium without chloride ion has a very limited value in replacement therapy, and may in fact present a potential hazard. Patients with severe cardiac failure who are being treated with salt restriction and thiazides may possibly utilize the chloride-free preparation. Alkalosis