Concomitant oral potassium chloride and anticholinergic therapy is associated with upper gastrointestinal bleeding: A cohort study

Itai Gueta, Noa Markovits, Hillel Halkin, Ronen Loebstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To determine whether oral potassium chloride (KCI) therapy with concomitant anticholinergic exposure among hospitalized patients is associated with an excess risk for upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB). Methods: A retrospective controlled study among hospitalized patients between January 2007 and April 2019 who were treated with oral KCI. Patients were divided into two groups: with or without concomitant exposure to agents with anticholinergic activity. Outcome was defined as any UGIB. Results: The final sample included 13 728 subjects who received oral KCI treatment, of them 3542 (25.8%) had at least one documented overlap with an anticholinergic agent. Mean age was 67.6 (±17.2) and 6893 (50.2%) were females. Median KCI dose was 2.4 g (interquartile range [IQR] 1.2-5.4, n = 9416) with the majority (90.4%) being treated with the wax-matrix form (Slow-K). Twenty-six (0.2%) patients experienced an UGIB event. Univariate analysis demonstrated a significantly higher rate of UGIB among patients concomitantly treated with oral KCI and anticholinergics (0.3%) compared to those without anticholinergic exposure (0.1%, P = 0.018), with median 7 days (IQR 3-16.8) from first KCI dose to bleeding event. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that concomitant anticholinergic exposure (Odds Ratio 2.48, 95% Confidence Interval 1.11-6.51, P = 0.022) and anticoagulation treatment among patients with hemato-oncologic disease (OR 6.61, 95% CI 1.96-22.25, P = 0.002) were significantly associated with UGIB. Conclusion: Hospitalized patients treated concomitantly with oral KCI and anticholinergic agents have significantly increased risk for UGIB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2064-2069
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume87
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • anticholinergic
  • drug-drug interaction
  • gastrointestinal bleeding
  • potassium chloride

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