• Potassium administration via the intravenous route should only be used when the oral or enteral route is not available or will not achieve the required increase of serum potassium within a clinically acceptable time.
  • Wherever possible commercially available ready to use diluted solutions should be prescribed and used.
  • During initial replacement it may be preferable to use premixed infusions that are glucose-free.
  • Administration should be via a volumetric infusion pump.
  • The concentration of potassium for intravenous administration via a peripheral line should not exceed 40mmol/L, as higher strengths can cause phlebitis and pain.
  • The infusion site should be checked regularly for redness and inflammation.
  • Higher concentrations have been given in severe cases of hypokalaemia but should be given via the central venous route and require infusion pump control.
  • The rate of administration should not normally exceed 10mmol/hour.
  • Administration rates above 20mmol/hour require cardiac monitoring.
  • Electrolytes should be monitored to determine the need for further infusions and to avoid hyperkalaemia.
  • Treatment of hypokalaemia may require both potassium and magnesium repletion.


Print this page