oral liquid potassium is bitter

  1. from what I remember as a first year student when we were taught (after a little taste of oral liquid potassium) that potassium in this liquid form should be mixed with juice because it is bitter

    why would staff administer to a patient, this ounce of potassium, undiluted?

    I asked the staff who was administering if it should be mixed with juice and the staff said no, and gave it undiluted?

    The patient grimaced and said that it's bitter

    sources that I've read while searching for how to administer oral liquid potassium all have said to mix it with water or juice.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   janony
    Maybe the patient prefers it that way, or is fluid-restricted, or there is some other reason not to have mixed it. Lots of possibilities.
  4. by   GingerSue
    no, it was just started for the patient, and this is not the patient's preference
  5. by   P_RN
    From my experience OJ is what I'd use. I do like the powder you mix better than that liquid. Kcl is extremely salty tasting to me. I'd say use grapefruit because it is already tangy, but so many BP meds can't be taken w/ grapefruit.
  6. by   Valanda
    I've recently gotten into the habit of giving KCl liquid by presnting it as the dose alone in the small plastic med cup and a separate glass of juice. SOme patients will pour the KCl into the juice, but many prefer to take the KCl straight with a juice chaser.
    I've had at least a dozen patients say, "I like it better this way. It's just like shooting whiskey".
    Either way, when presented as two separate things, they can choose what to with it.
  7. by   classicdame
    It is bitter to prevent people from taking too large a dose. Potassium can cause lethal cardiac rhythms. As for mixing, the problem then becomes that the patient may not finish drinking and not consume the intended dose. I had to have it once. The dose is small so people can drink it quickly and be done with it.
  8. by   TazziRN
    Quote from classicdame
    The dose is small so people can drink it quickly and be done with it.
    Yes, and it's so bitter that people will be reluctant to keep taking it. I have had people not take meds because they just couldn't stand the taste.
  9. by   mced
    It has always tasted good to me, try washing it down with some acetylcysteine. Kayexalate is a good mixer too, but is a little counterproductive.
  10. by   UM Review RN
    I have one patient who prefers a cranberry juice chaser, and another who wants an equal 30 ml of OJ to mix with the KCL, then drinks the rest of the OJ to kill the aftertaste of the KCL.

    I have no idea why the staff won't let you mix it.
  11. by   jannrn
    Another bitter one that can't be diluted enough to make it tolerable- liquid colace! docusate sodium. UGH!
  12. by   P_RN
    Quote from mced
    It has always tasted good to me, try washing it down with some acetylcysteine. Kayexalate is a good mixer too, but is a little counterproductive.
    Surely you jest!
  13. by   RITA2007
    It says on our liquid potassium that it must be diluted to administer. I always mix it with at least 4 ounces of juice.
  14. by   VickyRN
    Quote from FLKatieRN
    It says on our liquid potassium that it must be diluted to administer. I always mix it with at least 4 ounces of juice.
    I agree. This is recommended by the manufacturer. Straight and undiluted may result in damage to mucosa of mouth, esophagus, or stomach.

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