5 doctors weighed in:

What is the difference between potassium gluconate and chloride and which is better to take as an OTC supplement if one has repeated low potassium levels?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tarek Naguib
Internal Medicine - Nephrology & Dialysis
4 doctors agree

In brief: Weak repletion, both

If you have repeated low levels, you need prescription strength and doctors supervision.
If you overuse them, being weak doses, you may overdo it. Potassium problems can cause heart rhythm problems and possibly death. Prescription generic potassium should be cheaper than otc one on mg to mg basis. This said, a gram of potassium gluconate has less potassium than a gram of potassium chloride.

In brief: Weak repletion, both

If you have repeated low levels, you need prescription strength and doctors supervision.
If you overuse them, being weak doses, you may overdo it. Potassium problems can cause heart rhythm problems and possibly death. Prescription generic potassium should be cheaper than otc one on mg to mg basis. This said, a gram of potassium gluconate has less potassium than a gram of potassium chloride.
Dr. Tarek Naguib
Dr. Tarek Naguib
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2 comments
Dr. Tarek Naguib
If you are still interested, as you indicated, in using potassium gluconate rather than potassium chloride it's okay to use. The only caveat is that it is mandatory to have blood levels checked to guide therapy under your doctor's supervision due to risk of over & under replacement
Dr. Tarek Naguib
A tablet of potassium gluconate (in mg)yields meq equalling the mg size divided by 234. Example: if the tab is 595 mg then 595/234=2.4 meq, one sixth of which is pure potassium & 5/6 is gluconate; whereas potassium chloride same mg contains 5-6 folds higher meq of potassium.since actual tabs vary in mg, the math will vary from a product to another that's why prescription is easier & safer to use
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