Drug-induced hyperkalemia: old culprits and new offenders

Am J Med. 2000 Sep;109(4):307-14. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9343(00)00496-4.


Prescribed medications, over-the-counter drugs, and nutritional supplements are used by many patients. Although most of these products are well tolerated, drug-induced hyperkalemia may develop in patients with underlying renal impairment or other abnormalities in potassium handling. Drug-induced hyperkalemia most often occurs from impaired renal potassium excretion. However, disturbed cellular uptake of a potassium load as well as excessive ingestion or infusion of potassium-containing substances may also occur. Physicians must be aware of medications that can precipitate hyperkalemia, how these drugs induce alterations in potassium homeostasis, and the patient characteristics that increase the risk of hyperkalemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements / adverse effects*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperkalemia / chemically induced*
  • Hyperkalemia / metabolism
  • Hyperkalemia / prevention & control
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nonprescription Drugs / adverse effects
  • Potassium / administration & dosage
  • Potassium / adverse effects
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment


  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Potassium