Pharmacology Antihypertensives #8
A patient is taking the diuretic furosemide and is asking the nurse about foods with potassium content. Which statement by the patient indicates accurate understanding after nurse instructions?
- "I will take furosemide along with my hypertensive medication."
This answer is not correct because this answer does not address potassium needs. There isn’t enough information to know if this statement would be correct, regardless.
- "I will eat foods like apricots, dates, citrus fruits, bananas, and drink orange juice."
This answer is correct because apricots, dates, citrus fruits, bananas, and orange juice are examples of potassium-rich foods.
- "I will limit calcium in my diet."
This answer is not correct because furosemide does not elevate the calcium levels. It is not recommended to limit calcium in the diet.
- "I will limit spinach since vitamin K will affect my other K."
This answer is not correct because Vitamin K and potassium (K+) is different. Spinach is a food with increased potassium and should not be limited since furosemide will decrease potassium (K+) levels.
Patients should be taught and understand that increased potassium intake is needed when taking furosemide. Foods with increased potassium content include apricots, dates, citrus fruits, bananas, and orange juice.
The correct answer is B. The client will understand that foods high in potassium will help replace the needed electrolyte during diuretic therapy. The other selections are not applicable to potassium needs.
Furosemide is a loop diuretic that decreases blood pressure by increasing urine output. It also decreases the patient’s potassium level, therefore the patient should increase intake of potassium rich foods. Foods with increased potassium content include apricots, dates, citrus fruits, bananas, and orange juice. Periodic blood tests need to be drawn to monitor the patient’s potassium level. The level should range between 3.5-5.3 mmol/L. Levels < 3.5 mmol/L is mild hypokalemia and <2.5 mmol/L is considered as severe hypokalemia. Symptoms of hypokalemia include fatigue, muscle spasms, and palpitations. The patient should be taught to report any symptoms of hypokalemia.
Test Taking Tip
Vitamin K and potassium (K+) are very different but are often mixed up. Vitamin K levels affect clotting and potassium (K+) levels affect cardiac rhythms.