New Drug May Help Diabetic Kidney Disease Patients

Patiromer appears to keep potassium levels in check, researchers say.

TUESDAY, July 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) — A new drug decreases dangerously high levels of potassium in people with diabetes-related kidney disease, a new study finds.

Potassium is necessary for the heart, kidneys and other organs to work normally, but damage to the kidneys can cause potassium levels to increase to dangerous levels. This condition is called hyperkalemia.

Elevated potassium levels are associated with sudden death — your heart stops, said lead researcher Dr. George Bakris, a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

“High potassium is a problem seen in people with advanced kidney disease and advanced diabetes with kidney disease and with people with heart failure,” Bakris explained.

The new drug, patiromer, significantly reduced potassium levels when taken for a month, researchers found. Moreover, that effect lasted for a year.

Patiromer is a powder you mix with water and drink twice a day.

For additional information visit FDA website.

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