Potassium is an essential mineral, but it can be tricky. Having too much potassium in the system can be just as dangerous as having too little. A new study shows that some common medicines are linked to excessive potassium and its consequences. The analysis was done in Canada using the records of more than 4,000 elderly people hospitalized for too much potassium. Each patient was matched with four non-hospitalized people to serve as controls. The scientists concluded that patients on potassium-sparing blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-renin blockers were seven times more likely to have dangerously high potassium levels when given certain antibiotics. The antibiotics in question are a combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, known by the brand names Bactrim and Septra.

[Archives of Internal Medicine, June 28, 2010]

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  1. Joseph P.

    MY Grand Daughter 23 years old was prescribed trimethoprim about a year or more ago and has had stomach problems since. I believe that this is keeping all the good bacteria out of her stomach. She has incontinence problems and is there any natural help in this situation?
    I want to tell you how much your articles in the Houston Chronicle have helped me with my family stopping Dr. Prescriptions with no side effects and much better health and happiness. They were most of her problems that came from Stress. I read and cut and send your article each week to some member of the family. Thank you for being here.
    People’s Pharmacy response: You might be right about the good bacteria. Has she tried probiotics to restore them?

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