Which medications in the drug class Beta-adrenergic agonists are used in the treatment of Hyperkalemia?

Updated: Apr 09, 2020
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Beta-adrenergic agonists

Through activation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), these agonists stimulate the sodium-potassium–adenosine triphosphatase (Na+ -K+ -ATPase) pump, thereby shifting potassium into the intracellular compartment. However, these shifts in potassium occur primarily during exercise rather than at rest.

Albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin, Vospire ER)

Albuterol is an adrenergic agonist that has an additive effect with insulin and glucose, which may in turn help shift potassium into the intracellular space. This agent lowers the serum potassium level by 0.5-1.5 mEq/L. It can be very beneficial in patients with renal failure when fluid overload is concern. Onset of action is 30 minutes; duration of action is 4-6 hours for the immediate-release product.

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