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Home / Drugs / Starting with P / Polystyrene sulfonate
Polystyrene sulfonate

Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is a medication used to treat abnormally high potassium levels. It may be taken orally or by rectum, as an enema, and functions as a potassium-binding resin in the intestines. It is also an effective topical microbicide and spermicide, inhibiting the genital transfection of, among others, HIV. [Wikipedia]
ManufacturersKvk tech inc
Sanofi aventis us llc
Paddock laboratories inc
Carolina medical products co
Citrusphrma llc
Wockhardt eu operations (swiss) ag
Morton grove pharmaceuticals inc
Roxane laboratories inc
PackagersBayer Healthcare
Carolina Medical Products Co.
KVK-Tech Inc.
Major Pharmaceuticals
Medisca Inc.
Paddock Labs
Physicians Total Care Inc.
Sanofi-Aventis Inc.
SynonymsSodium polystyrene sulfonate
Sodium polystyrene sulfonic acid


Used to treat abnormally high potassium levels.


Polystyrene sulfonate affects the exchange of sodium and potassium in the body. Polystyrene sulfonate is used to treat high levels of potassium in the blood, also called hyperkalemia. It is a potassium-binding ion-exchange resin that can be administered orally (25 grams in 20% sorbitol) or rectally (50 grams in 20% sorbitol).

mechanism of action

Polystyrene sulfonate, which is not absorbed, binds excess potassium, carrying it out of the body. The indigestible potassium polystryene sulfonate complex is excreted with the faeces, preventing the absorption of potassium into the blood stream. Hence, the serum potassium level decreases.


Overdose symptoms may include confusion, irritability, trouble thinking or concentrating, muscle weakness, or trouble breathing.




Not absorbed following oral administration.

half life


route of elimination


drug interactions

Aluminium: Risk of alkalosis in renal impairment

Amiloride: Risk of alkalosis in renal impairment

Calcium: Formation of non-absorbable complexes

Eplerenone: Risk of alkalosis in renal impairment

Magnesium: Risk of alkalosis in renal impairment

Potassium: Risk of alkalosis in renal impairment

Spironolactone: Risk of alkalosis in renal impairment

Triamterene: Antagonism of action