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September 1983

Intravenous Treatment of Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Rochester (NY) (Dr Griggs); the Department of Neurology, Stamford (Conn) Hospital (Dr Resnick); and the Departments of Neurology and Pathology, Center for Neuromuscular Diseases, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Dr Engel).

Arch Neurol. 1983;40(9):539-540. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04050080039005

• Acute attacks of weakness in patients with hypokalemic periodic paralysis can usually be treated with oral potassium preparations. Occasional patients, however, require intravenous (IV) potassium administration. We studied a patient with hypokalemic periodic paralysis to determine the effect of using 5% glucose as a diluent for potassium administration during acute attacks of weakness. Administration of IV potassium chloride in 5% glucose (50 mEq/L) was associated with a worsening of strength and no rise in potassium level. Intravenous potassium in 5% mannitol was associated with a rise in potassium and improvement in strength. This study confirms the hazard of using glucose-containing solutions for correction of hypokalemia.

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