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Arch Neurol. 1983 Sep;40(9):539-40.

Intravenous treatment of hypokalemic periodic paralysis.


Acute attacks of weakness in patients with hypokalemic periodic paralysis can usually be treated with oral potassium preparations. Occasional patients, however, require intravenous (IV) potassium administration. We studied a patient with hypokalemic periodic paralysis to determine the effect of using 5% glucose as a diluent for potassium administration during acute attacks of weakness. Administration of IV potassium chloride in 5% glucose (50 mEq/L) was associated with a worsening of strength and no rise in potassium level. Intravenous potassium in 5% mannitol was associated with a rise in potassium and improvement in strength. This study confirms the hazard of using glucose-containing solutions for correction of hypokalemia.

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