Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate


Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is used to treat hyperkalemia (increased amounts of potassium in the body). Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is in a class of medications called potassium-removing agents. It works by removing excess potassium from the body.

Side Effects Of Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking or using sodium polystyrene sulfonate and call your doctor immediately:

  • constipation
  • seizures
  • unusual bleeding
  • confusion
  • muscle weakness
  • abdominal pain
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking or using this medication.

Warnings & Precautions

Before taking or receiving sodium polystyrene sulfonate:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to sodium polystyrene sulfonate, other polystyrene sulfonate resins, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in the products. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antacids, antibiotics taken by mouth; anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); digoxin (Lanoxin); laxatives; lithium (Lithobid); or thyroxine. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. If you are taking any other medications by mouth, take them at least 3 hours before or 3 hours before or after taking it.
  • tell your doctor if you have low levels of potassium in your blood, a blockage in your intestine or colon, or if you have recently had surgery and your bowel function has not returned to normal. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take sodium polystyrene sulfonate. Newborn infants should not receive it.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had constipation; surgery to remove all or part of your large bowel or surgery for other intestinal problems; inflammatory bowel disease, ischemic colitis (decreased blood flow to the bowels), gastroparesis (slowed movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine) or other bowel problems; heart failure; high blood pressure; edema (fluid retention; excess fluid held in body tissues); or kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking it, call your doctor.
  • tell your doctor if you are on a sodium-restricted diet.

Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate Dosage

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate comes as a suspension and as an oral powder for the suspension to take by mouth. The suspension may also be given rectally as an enema. It is usually taken or used one to four times a day. Take or use sodium polystyrene sulfonate at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take or use it exactly as directed. Do not take or use more or less of it or take or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.

If you are taking sodium polystyrene sulfonate powder by mouth, mix the powder with 20 to 100 mL (about 1 to 3 ounces) of water or syrup as directed by your doctor. Measure carefully, using level teaspoonfuls of the powder. Use the mixture shortly after preparation; do not store beyond 24 hours.

Do not heat the suspension or add it to heated foods or liquids.

If you are receiving it as an enema, you will probably be given a cleansing enema before and after you receive this medication. Hold the sodium polystyrene sulfonate enema contents as long as possible, up to several hours.

Do not use sorbitol along with sodium polystyrene sulfonate products. Serious problems have been reported when sorbitol was used with it.


Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to sodium polystyrene sulfonate.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.