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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Hypokalemia

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 11/7/1999]
Question: I take ziac for high blood pressure, and the following other prescription drugs for rheumatoid and osteoarthritis: methotrexate, plaquenil, prempro, prednisone, and prozac for depression. Every 6 weeks I get bloodwork done because of the methotrexate. The last few labs have shown a low potassium level. My rheumatoligist suggested that I might need a potassium supplement, but would not prescribe one, as he is not the MD who prescribed the ziac (a diuretic?) Can a potassium supplement be purchased in a health food store, and is it safe to take with all the other drugs I'm already taking?

Answer: It cannot be bought without a prescription. But, increasing the vegtables in your diet would usually work. Try taking fruit juice a couple of glasses a day and recheck it in two weeks. If still low, you need a proscribed supplement.

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