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Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

Kalexate [DSC]; Kayexalate; Kionex; SPS

Brand Names: Canada

Kayexalate; PMS-Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat high potassium levels.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

All products:

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has any of these health problems: Hard stools (constipation), low potassium levels, or if your child has not had a bowel movement after surgery.
  • If your child has ever had any of these health problems: Bowel block, bowel disease, bowel surgery, not able to have a bowel movement, or long-term hard stools (constipation).
  • If your child is taking any of these drugs: Magnesium hydroxide or sorbitol.
  • If your child is a newborn with bowel function that is not normal.

All oral products:

  • If your child is a premature baby or is a newborn. Do not give this drug to a premature baby or a newborn.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • If your child is on a low-salt diet (this drug has salt), talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • If your child is taking a salt substitute that has potassium in it, a potassium-sparing diuretic, or a potassium product, talk with your child’s doctor.
  • This drug may prevent other drugs taken by mouth from getting into the body. If your child takes other drugs by mouth, you may need to give them at some other time than this drug. Talk with the doctor.
  • Use with care in children. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, seizures, not hungry, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly bowel problems like bleeding, swelling, and tearing have happened with this drug. Most people who had these problems were also taking sorbitol. The chance of these problems may be raised if your child has low blood volume, kidney disease, or if your child has ever had bowel disease or surgery. Call the doctor right away if your child has black, tarry, or bloody stools; hard stools (constipation); belly pain; swelling of the stomach; or throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Not hungry.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

All products:

  • Most of the time, this drug will be given in a doctor’s office.
  • Your child’s doctor may teach you how to give this drug.
  • Follow how to use carefully.
  • It may be given by mouth or given rectally.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Shake well before use.


  • Mix powder with water or syrup. Ask the doctor how much liquid you need to use. Shake or mix well.
  • When giving by mouth, have your child take while sitting up.
  • Do not heat or microwave.
  • Have your child use the solution within 24 hours.


  • Have your child keep suspension in rectum as long as can.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • If your child takes this drug on a regular basis, give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this drug is given on an as needed basis. Do not give to your child more often than told by the doctor.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Do not freeze.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

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