What is St Mark’s Electrolyte Mix (solution)?

Varinder Rai, Regional Medicines Information Manager, London Medicines Information ServiceSource London Medicines Information ServicePublished
  • St Mark’s Electrolyte Mix is an unique glucose-electrolyte mix oral rehydration solution (ORS)
  • It is used in the management of short bowel syndrome, to maintain an adequate fluid balance and minimise stool output
  • Patients should make the solution up fresh every day using the following measurements:
    • 20g (six level 5mL spoonfuls) of glucose powder or glucose powder with vitamin C
    • 2.5g (one heaped 2.5mL spoonful) of sodium bicarbonate powder (baking soda) or sodium citrate powder if the sodium bicarbonate is not tolerated due to causing a bitter or salty taste
    • 3.5g (one level 5mL spoonful) of sodium chloride (table salt)
    • This is then to be dissolved in 1 Litre of tap water which provides 90mmol/L of sodium
  • The prescribed volume should be drunk slowly throughout the day and not in one go
  • Patients should be strongly encouraged to avoid plain water consumption when they are thirsty and to substitute it with the St Mark’s Electrolyte Mix
  • The solution can be made more palatable if patients find the solution bitter or salty due to the sodium bicarbonate component by:
    • Storing in the refrigerator and drinking chilled
    • Freezing the solution into ice cubes and drinking as a slush
    • Adding a small amount of fruit juice or squash when making up the whole solution rather than adding this to each glass of solution to ensure the sodium content is maintained
    • Sipping the solution through a straw which can also help minimise the bitter taste