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Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate 99.934% w/w Powder for Oral/Rectal Suspension

Active Ingredient:
calcium polystyrene sulfonate
Roma Pharmaceuticals Limited See contact details
ATC code: 
About Medicine
{healthcare_pro_orange} This information is for use by healthcare professionals
Last updated on emc: 30 Oct 2023
1. Name of the medicinal product

Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate 99.934% w/w Powder for Oral/Rectal Suspension

2. Qualitative and quantitative composition

Each 100 g of powder for oral/rectal suspension contain 99.934 g of calcium polystyrene sulfonate.

For a full list of excipients, see section 6.1.

3. Pharmaceutical form

Powder for Oral/Rectal Suspension.

Cream or light brown coloured, fine powder.

4. Clinical particulars
4.1 Therapeutic indications

Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate is an ion-exchange resin that is recommended for the treatment of hyperkalaemia associated with anuria or severe oliguria. It is also used to treat hyperkalaemia in patients requiring dialysis and in patients on regular haemodialysis or on prolonged peritoneal dialysis.

4.2 Posology and method of administration

Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate is for oral or rectal administration only.

The dosage recommendations detailed below are a guide only; the precise requirements should be decided on the basis of regular serum electrolyte determinations.

Adults, including the elderly:


The usual dose is 15g three or four times a day. Each dose should be given as a suspension in a small amount of water or, for greater palatability, in syrup (but not fruit juices which contain potassium), in the ratio of 3 to 4ml per gram of resin.

Administer Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate at least 3 hours before or 3 hours after other oral medications. For patients with gastroparesis, a 6 hour separation should be considered.


This route should be reserved for the patient who is vomiting or who has upper gastrointestinal tract problems, including paralytic ileus. It may be used simultaneously with the oral route for more rapid initial results or in patients with gastroparesis, who have other orally administered medications that are administered within 6 hours of Calcium Polysterene Sulfonate. The resin may be given rectally as a suspension of 30g resin in 150ml of water or 10% dextrose, as a daily retention enema. In the initial stages administration by this route as well as orally may help to achieve a rapid lowering of the serum potassium level.

The enema should if possible be retained for a least nine hours, then the colon should be irrigated to remove the resin. If both routes are used initially it is probably unnecessary to continue rectal administration once the oral resin has reached the rectum.



In smaller children and infants correspondingly smaller doses should be employed by using as a guide a rate of 1mEq of potassium per gram of resin as the basis for calculation. An appropriate initial dose is 1g/kg body weight daily in divided doses, in acute hyperkalaemia. Dosage may be reduced to 0.5g/kg body weight daily in divided doses for maintenance therapy. The resin is given orally, preferably with a drink (not a fruit squash because of the high potassium content) or a little jam or honey.


When refused by mouth it should be given rectally using a dose at least as great as that which would have been given orally, diluted in the same ratio as described for adults. Following retention of the enema, the colon should be irrigated to ensure adequate removal of the resin.


Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate should not be given by the oral route. With rectal administration, the minimum effective dosage within the range 0.5g/kg to 1g/kg should be employed, diluted as for adults with adequate irrigation to ensure recovery of the resin.

4.3 Contraindications

• In patients with plasma potassium levels below 5mmol/litre.

• Conditions associated with hypercalcaemia (e.g. hyperparathyroidism, multiple myeloma, sarcoidosis or metastatic carcinoma).

• History of hypersensitivity to polystyrene sulfonate resins.

• Obstructive bowel disease.

• Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate should not be administered orally to neonates and is contraindicated in neonates with reduced gut motility (post-operatively or drug induced).

• Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.

4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Binding to other orally administered medications: Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate may bind to orally administered medications, which could decrease their gastrointestinal absorption and efficacy. Avoid co-administration of Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate with other orally administered medications. Administer Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate at least 3 hours before or 3 hours after other oral medications. For patients with gastroparesis, a 6-hour separation should be considered

Gastrointestinal stenosis and ischemia:

Gastrointestinal stenosis, intestinal ischemia and its complications (necrosis and perforation), some of them fatal, were reported in patients treated with polystyrene sulfonate alone or in combination with sorbitol. Concomitant use of sorbitol with calcium polystyrene sulfonate is not recommended (see Section 4.5 Interactions).

Patients should be advised to seek prompt medical advice in case of newly developed severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, stomach distension and rectal bleeding.

Lesions seen in polystyrene sulfonate-induced gastrointestinal damage may overlap with those seen in inflammatory bowel disease, ischemic colitis, infectious colitis, and microscopic colitis.

Due to the risk of severe gastrointestinal disorders (such as bowel obstruction, ischaemia, necrosis or perforation) the use of polystyrene sulfonate is not recommended in patients with compromised gastrointestinal motility (including immediate post-surgery or drug-induced).

Hypokalaemia: The possibility of severe potassium depletion should be considered and adequate clinical and biochemical control is essential during treatment, especially in patients on digitalis. Administration of the resin should be stopped when the serum potassium falls to 5mmol/litre.

Other electrolyte disturbances: Like all cation-exchange resins, calcium polystyrene sulfonate is not totally selective for potassium. Hypomagnesaemia and/or hypercalcaemia may occur. Accordingly, patients should be monitored for all applicable electrolyte disturbances. Serum calcium levels should be estimated at weekly intervals to detect the early development of hypercalcaemia, and the dose of resin adjusted to levels at which hypercalcaemia and hypokalaemia are prevented.

Other risks: In the event of clinically significant constipation, treatment should be discontinued until normal bowel movement has resumed. Magnesium-containing laxatives should not be used (see section 4.5 Interactions).

The patient should be positioned carefully when ingesting the resin, to avoid aspiration, which may lead to bronchopulmonary complications.

Children and neonates: In neonates, calcium polystyrene sulfonate should not be given by the oral route. In children and neonates, particular care is needed with rectal administration as excessive dosage or inadequate dilution could result in impaction of the resin. Due to the risk of digestive haemorrhage or colonic necrosis, particular care should be observed in premature infants or low birth weight infants.

4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

Orally administered medications: Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate has the potential to bind to other orally administered medications. Binding of Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate to other oral medications could cause decrease in their gastrointestinal absorption and efficacy. Dosing separation of Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate from other orally administered medications is recommended.

Concomitant use not recommended Sorbitol (oral or rectal): Concomitant use of Sorbitol with calcium polystyrene sulfonate is not recommended due to cases of intestinal necrosis and other serious gastrointestinal adverse reactions, which may be fatal (see Section 4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use and Section 4.8 Undesirable effects).

To be used with caution

Cation-donating agents: may reduce the potassium binding effectiveness of Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate.

Non-absorbable cation-donating antacids and laxatives: There have been reports of systemic alkalosis following concurrent administration of cation-exchange resins and non-absorbable cation-donating antacids and laxatives such as magnesium hydroxide and aluminium carbonate.

Aluminium hydroxide: Intestinal obstruction due to concretions of aluminium hydroxide has been reported when aluminium hydroxide has been combined with the resin (sodium form).

Digitalis-like drugs: The toxic effects of digitalis on the heart, especially various ventricular arrhythmias and A-V nodal dissociation, are likely to be exaggerated if hypokalaemia and/or hypercalcaemia are allowed to develop (see section 4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use).

Lithium: Possible decrease of lithium absorption.

Levothyroxine: Possible decrease of levothyroxine absorption.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation


There are no or limited data from the use of Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate in pregnant women. Animal studies are insufficient with respect to reproductive toxicity (see section 5.3).

Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate is not recommended during pregnancy.


It is unknown whether Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate metabolites are excreted in human milk. A risk to newborns/infants cannot be excluded.

A decision must be made whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue/abstain from Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate therapy taking into account the benefit of breast-feeding for the child and the benefit of treatment for the woman.


There are no or limited data from the use of Calcium Polystyrene Sulfonate in fertility.

4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

There are no specific warnings.

4.8 Undesirable effects

Metabolism and nutrition disorders

In accordance with its pharmacological actions, the resin may give rise to hypokalaemia and hypercalcaemia, and their related clinical manifestations (see Section 4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use and Section 4.9 Overdose).

Cases of hypomagnesaemia have been reported.

Hypercalcaemia has been reported in well dialysed patients receiving calcium resin, and occasionally in patients with chronic renal failure. Many patients in chronic renal failure have low serum calcium and high serum phosphate, but some, who cannot be screened out beforehand, show a sudden rise in serum calcium to high levels after therapy with calcium resin. The risk emphasises the need for adequate biochemical control.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Gastric irritation, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, constipation and occasionally diarrhoea may occur. Faecal impaction following rectal administration particularly in children and gastrointestinal concretions (bezoars) following oral administration have been reported. Gastrointestinal stenosis and intestinal obstruction have also been reported, possibly, due to co-existing pathology or inadequate dilution of the resin.

Gastrointestinal ischemia, ischemic colitis, gastro-intestinal tract ulceration or necrosis, which could lead to intestinal perforation have been reported which is sometimes fatal.

Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders

Some cases of acute bronchitis and/or broncho-pneumonia associated with inhalation of particles of calcium polystyrene sulfonate have been described.

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via Yellow Card Scheme at: or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.

4.9 Overdose

Biochemical disturbances from overdosage may give rise to clinical signs or symptoms of hypokalaemia, including irritability, confusion, delayed thought processes, muscle weakness, hyporeflexia and eventual paralysis. Apnoea may be a serious consequence of this progression. Electrocardiographic changes may be consistent with hypokalaemia or hypercalcaemia; cardiac arrhythmia may occur. Appropriate measures should be taken to correct serum electrolytes and the resin should be removed from the alimentary tract by appropriate use of laxatives or enemas.

5. Pharmacological properties
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: All other therapeutic products; Drugs for treatment of hyperkalaemia and hyperphosphatemia

ATC code: V03AE01

Ion-exchange resin

5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

Not applicable as this product is not absorbed.

5.3 Preclinical safety data

There are no preclinical data of relevance to the prescriber, which are additional to those already included in other sections of the SmPC.

6. Pharmaceutical particulars
6.1 List of excipients


Saccharin (E954)

6.2 Incompatibilities

Not applicable

6.3 Shelf life

48 months

Once opened use within 30 days

6.4 Special precautions for storage

This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.

6.5 Nature and contents of container

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) jar, with a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) flip-top cap, containing 300g of powder with a polypropylene (PP) spoon, which, when filled level, contains approximately 15g of powder.

6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

The suspension should be prepared immediately before use.

Any unused medicinal product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.

7. Marketing authorisation holder

ROMA Pharmaceuticals Limited

Gibraltar House

Crown Square

Centrum 100

Burton on Trent

DE14 2WE

8. Marketing authorisation number(s)

PL 49578/0011

9. Date of first authorisation/renewal of the authorisation


10. Date of revision of the text


Roma Pharmaceuticals Limited
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Gibraltar House, Crown Square, First Avenue, Centrum 100, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 2WE
01283 890091
Medical Information e-mail
[email protected]
Stock Availability
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