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Kalimate (calcium polystyrene sulfonate)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Sep 20, 2023

Kalimate is a branded drug that contains calcium polystyrene sulfonate. The calcium ions in the drug compete with potassium in the body, thus reducing the action of potassium.



What is Kalimate used for?

Prevent and treat hyperkalemia (high blood potassium levels).

How should I take Kalimate?

As a powder for oral suspension, reconstitute the product by mixing it with an appropriate amount of liquid. Use 30 to 50 mL of water, simple syrup, or fruit juice that is low in potassium. Shake it well before use.

How do I store Kalimate?

Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Kalimate?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it is likely safe to take because it does not undergo absorption in the GI tract. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Kalimate?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia
  • Anorexia (decreased appetite)
  • Constipation, diarrhea
  • GI upset
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Bronchitis
  • Bronchopneumonia
  • Bezoar formation
  • Fecal impaction, GI obstruction
  • GI ulcer
  • Colitis

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Kalimate?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. 

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. 

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Digitalis
  • Antacids & laxatives containing aluminum, magnesium, or calcium
  • Iron supplements
  • Tetracycline antibiotics

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with Kalimate?

This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Kalimate?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Bowel obstruction
  • Hypercalcemia (high blood calcium levels)
  • High parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Hypokalemia (low blood potassium levels)


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

The recommended dose is 15 g given every 6 to 8 hours per day. It should be taken orally, in the form of a suspension.

Reconstitute each dose in 30-50 mL of water or syrup prior to administration.

What is the dose for a child?

Acute hyperkalemia: The recommended dose is 1 g per kg of body weight daily in divided doses.

Maintenance therapy: The recommended dose is reduced to 0.5 g per kg of body weight daily in divided doses.

How is Kalimate available?

Kalimate is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Powder for oral suspension 5 g

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Updated Sep 20, 2023

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