What is the first step in the medical treatment of hyperkalemia (high serum potassium level)?

Updated: Jun 20, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Medical treatment of hyperkalemia may be conveniently divided into discrete components. Although these different aspects of hyperkalemia treatment are listed sequentially below, in a step-by-step format, they generally are addressed simultaneously.

Step 1

Administer intravenous (IV) calcium to ameliorate cardiac toxicity, if present. Infuse calcium chloride or calcium gluconate (10 mL of a 10% solution over 2-3 minutes). Onset of action occurs within minutes; duration of action is 30 minutes to an hour. [63]


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