Sodium and potassium issues with blood pressure medication

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"Sodium and potassium issues with blood pressure medication"

A recent Alberta Tools for Practice article reviewed the literature on how low can the potassium and sodium go with commonly prescribed blood pressure medications?1 

They determined that moderate hyponatremia (Na <130 mmol/L) and hypokalemia (K <3.2 mmol/L) each occur in ~4% of thiazide users, and hyperkalemia (K >5.4 mmol/L) occurs in 4% of ACE inhibitor (and angiotensin receptor blocker) users. Limited evidence suggests checking electrolytes in the first 2–4 weeks after starting, and again after increasing doses of these agents, and at least annually thereafter.


  1. Alberta College of Family Physicians, Tools for Practice #163. Click here


    Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.

    As published in NZ Doctor 03/08/2016