The GoodRx Prescription Savings Blog

The latest updates on prescription drugs and ways to save from the GoodRx medical team

What Type of Potassium Is Right for You?

by The GoodRx Pharmacist on December 8, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Potassium chloride and its various formulations can be confusing—you may not even realize several different types exist until reading this today! When it comes to supplementing low potassium levels, there are a few oral options, but they are absorbed into your system in different ways. If one type is causing troublesome side effects for you, another version may work better.

Does it matter which type I receive? Is there a difference in their absorption?

Oral potassium can upset the stomach and possibly lead to stomach obstruction or lesions. Be aware that you may tolerate one form of potassium better than another, and you may need to try more than one to find the best option for you.

When it comes to the effectiveness of different types, there have been several studies conducted that compare microencapsulated potassium (capsules) with wax matrix potassium (tablets), and there were no clear differences noted.

So what forms are available?

Potassium is available in tablets, capsules, effervescent tablets, powder packets, and liquid.

Some examples of the various names that potassium can be found under include: K-Tab, Klor-Con, Klor-Con M, and Micro-K.

What are the differences between the various types of tablets and capsules?

  • Wax Matrix (Klor-Con): This coating provides a controlled release of potassium to reduce the likelihood of a high concentration of potassium in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Microencapsulated (Micro-K, Klor-Con M): This capsule formulation is also intended to provide a slow rate of release of the potassium to reduce the likelihood of a high concentration of potassium in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Film-Coated (K-Tab): This coating uses a very thin layer of inactive ingredients on the tablet to protect your tongue from the flavor of the other ingredients (and the rest of the tablet from moisture and light). The film will break down with a little action from your stomach acid and saliva. However, film coated tablets do not significantly affect the way in which the drug is absorbed.

Copyright ©2015 GoodRx, Inc.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. GoodRx is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information on the site. GoodRx provides no warranty for any of the pricing data or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medical treatment. Third party logos, trademarks, brand names and images contained on are for demonstration purposes only and are owned by their respective rights holders, who are not affiliated with this Site.