Table 2

Treatment of hyperkalaemia

Mechanism of action Therapy Onset/duration Dose
I. Membrane stabilisationCalcium1–3 min/30–60 minCalcium gluconate 10% 10 ml iv
II. Shift of potassium intracellularlyInsulin20 min/4–6 hours10 U regular insulin iv with 50 ml 50% dextrose
β2-adrenergic agonist20 min/2–4 hoursDose depending on the type of agonist used
III. Removal of potassiumSodium or calcium polystyrene sulphone1–2 hours/4–6 hours15 g every six hours orally or 30–60 g by retention enema
DialysisImmediate/duration of dialysis2–3 hours haemodialysis
  • iv = intravenous.