Potassium chloride: Is it poisonous?

Fact Checked

Potassium chloride is a salt substitute that provides flavor to food. Similar with any chemical taken in large amounts, potassium chloride can cause some medical issues but it is not categorized as a poison.

Moderate use of products that contain potassium chloride serves as a safe seasoning alternative for most individuals. Individuals with kidney and heart disease should consult a doctor first before using any products containing the chemical due to potential interactions with medications.

Close look on potassium chloride mix

Individuals with high blood pressure or other health conditions that necessitate a reduction in the sodium intake utilize a combination of potassium chloride and sodium chloride for food seasoning.

It is important to note that potassium chloride has a well-defined bitter taste which makes it difficult to come up with products with it as a sole seasoning. The alternatives involve a combination of around 50% sodium and potassium chlorides. Both are not considered poisonous if utilized in small amounts as an enhancer for the food among those with any serious health issues.

Potassium chloride in drugs

Some individuals are prescribed with medications that include potassium chloride. Children might be given potassium chloride as an electrolyte supplement orally or via an injection as replacement for the potassium lost when sick.

Individuals who might have allergies to potassium chloride might experience certain side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

It is also used along with water pills. Even though not poisonous if properly used, a potential threat might arise if the individual was not able to follow the directions given by the healthcare professional. A case of overdoes requires the same measures when dealing with any form of poisoning.


Individuals who might have allergies to potassium chloride might experience certain side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Blood-streaked stools
  • Weakness
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Skin rashes
  • Swollen face, mouth or throat

If any of these are present, it requires immediate medical care.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on potassium chloride is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage a case of poisoning, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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