How is potassium loss replenished in individuals with hypokalemia (low potassium)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
  • Print
Answer

For every 1 mEq/L decrease in serum potassium, the potassium deficit is approximately 200-400 mEq; however, this calculation could either overestimate or underestimate the true potassium deficit

Patients with a potassium level of 2.5-3.5 mEq/L may need only oral potassium replacement

If the potassium level is less than 2.5 mEq/L, intravenous (IV) potassium should be given, with close followup, continuous ECG monitoring, and serial potassium levels

The serum potassium level is difficult to replenish if the serum magnesium level is also low


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!