Research News

Two drugs show promising results for treating hyperkalemia in US study

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 17 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h278
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Two new oral medications show some promise for the treatment of hyperkalemia, the New England Journal of Medicine has reported.

Hyperkalemia is defined as a plasma potassium level of greater than 5.0 mmol/L, and levels over 6.0 mmol/L may lead to cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. It is particularly common in patients with chronic kidney disease or with heart failure and can be difficult to treat. Drugs that interrupt the renin angiotensin system (RAS) tend to increase potassium levels and put patients at risk of hyperkalemia.

The first trial assessed a drug called patiromer in patients with chronic kidney …

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