Acute attacks of weakness in patients with hypokalemic periodic paralysis can usually be treated with oral potassium preparations. Occasional patients, however, require intravenous (IV) potassium administration. We studied a patient with hypokalemic periodic paralysis to determine the effect of using 5% glucose as a diluent for potassium administration during acute attacks of weakness. Administration of IV potassium chloride in 5% glucose (50 mEq/L) was associated with a worsening of strength and no rise in potassium level. Intravenous potassium in 5% mannitol was associated with a rise in potassium and improvement in strength. This study confirms the hazard of using glucose-containing solutions for correction of hypokalemia.