Name: Veltassa

Veltassa Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • back-and-forth movements of the eyes;
  • a seizure (convulsions);
  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • numbness; or
  • tiredness.

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation, diarrhea;
  • stomach pain, nausea; or
  • gas.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Veltassa Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Veltassa, salt substitutes containing potassium should be avoided.

Follow the diet that your doctor has prescribed for you.

Veltassa and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Veltassa is not absorbed into the body, so it is not expected to harm the unborn baby. Your doctor will determine if Veltassa can be given to you during pregnancy. 

Advice to Patients

  • Importance of reading the manufacturer's medication guide before beginning treatment and each time the prescription is refilled.1

  • Importance of administering other oral drugs ≥6 hours before or ≥6 hours after administration of patiromer.1

  • Importance of taking patiromer with food and of adhering to prescribed diet.1

  • Importance of preparing each dose immediately before administration according to instructions in the medication guide.1 Do not heat (e.g., in microwave) or add to heated foods or liquids; do not administer patiromer in its dry form.1

  • Importance of women informing clinicians if they are or plan to become pregnant or plan to breast-feed.1

  • Importance of informing clinicians of existing or contemplated concomitant therapy, including prescription and OTC drugs, as well as any concomitant illnesses.1

  • Importance of informing patients of other important precautionary information.1 (See Cautions.)

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Veltassa

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Suspension

Therapeutic Class: Exchange Resin

Before Using Veltassa

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of patiromer in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of patiromer in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted side effects which may require caution in patients receiving this medicine.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Levothyroxine
  • Metformin

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bowel blockage or
  • Constipation, severe or
  • Impaction (bowel movement problem)—Use is not recommended in patients with these conditions. This medicine may not work properly and may worsen these conditions.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Veltassa?

  • If you have an allergy to Veltassa (patiromer) or any part of this medicine.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Bowel block, constipation, or problems having a bowel movement.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Veltassa.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

How is this medicine (Veltassa) best taken?

Use Veltassa as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with food.
  • Do not heat or microwave.
  • Do not mix this medicine in warm or hot drinks.
  • Do not take dry powder.
  • Mix powder with water only as you have been told.
  • Do not mix with other liquids.
  • Measure 1/3 cup (80 mL) of water. Pour half of the water into a glass, mix in the powder and stir. Add the rest of the water and stir well. The powder will not dissolve. The mixture will look cloudy. You can add more water if the mixture is too thick.
  • After mixing, take your dose right away. Do not store for future use.
  • Rinse cup with more water and drink. Repeat as needed to make sure the entire dose is taken.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low magnesium levels like mood changes, muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps or spasms, seizures, shakiness, not hungry, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal.

Indications and Usage for Veltassa

Veltassa is indicated for the treatment of hyperkalemia.

Limitation of Use: Veltassa should not be used as an emergency treatment for life-threatening hyperkalemia because of its delayed onset of action [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

Adverse Reactions

The following adverse reaction is discussed in greater detail elsewhere in the label:

  • Hypomagnesemia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of Veltassa cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of other drugs and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In the safety and efficacy clinical trials, 666 adult patients received at least one dose of Veltassa, including 219 exposed for at least 6 months and 149 exposed for at least one year.

Table 1 provides a summary of the most common adverse reactions (occurring in ≥ 2% of patients) in patients treated with Veltassa in these clinical trials. Most adverse reactions were mild to moderate. Constipation generally resolved during the course of treatment.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported in ≥ 2% of Patients
Adverse Reactions Patients treated with Veltassa
Constipation 7.2%
Hypomagnesemia 5.3%
Diarrhea 4.8%
Nausea 2.3%
Abdominal discomfort 2.0%
Flatulence 2.0%

During the clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of Veltassa were gastrointestinal adverse reactions (2.7%), including vomiting (0.8%), diarrhea (0.6%), constipation (0.5%) and flatulence (0.5%).

Mild to moderate hypersensitivity reactions were reported in 0.3% of patients treated with Veltassa in clinical trials. Reactions have included edema of the lips.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Approximately 4.7% of patients in clinical trials developed hypokalemia with a serum potassium value < 3.5 mEq/L.

Approximately 9% of patients in clinical trials developed hypomagnesemia with a serum magnesium value < 1.4 mg/dL.

Veltassa - Clinical Pharmacology

Mechanism of Action

Veltassa is a non-absorbed, cation exchange polymer that contains a calcium-sorbitol counterion.

Veltassa increases fecal potassium excretion through binding of potassium in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. Binding of potassium reduces the concentration of free potassium in the gastrointestinal lumen, resulting in a reduction of serum potassium levels.


In a Phase 1 study in healthy adult subjects (6 to 8 subjects per group), Veltassa (0 grams to 50.4 grams per day) administered three times a day for 8 days caused a dose-dependent increase in fecal potassium excretion. A corresponding dose-dependent decrease in urinary potassium excretion with no change in serum potassium were also observed. Compared to placebo, Veltassa doses of 25.2 and 50.4 grams per day significantly decreased mean daily urinary potassium excretion.

In a Phase 1, open-label, multiple-dose crossover study in 12 healthy subjects, 25.2 grams of patiromer per day was administered orally as a once daily, twice daily or thrice daily regimen for 6 days in a randomly assigned order. A significant increase in mean daily fecal potassium excretion and concomitant decrease in mean daily urinary potassium excretion were observed during the treatment periods for all three dosing regimens. The mean increase in fecal potassium excretion ranged from 1283 to 1550 mg/day, and the mean decrease in urinary potassium excretion ranged from 1438 to 1534 mg/day across the three dosing regimens. No significant differences were observed among the dosing regimens with respect to mean daily fecal potassium and urinary potassium excretion. This was true for the overall comparison among the three dosing regimens, as well as for the pairwise comparisons.

In an open-label, uncontrolled study, 25 patients with hyperkalemia (mean baseline serum potassium of 5.9 mEq/L) and chronic kidney disease were given a controlled potassium diet for 3 days, followed by 16.8 grams patiromer daily (as divided doses) for 2 days while the controlled diet was continued. A statistically significant reduction in serum potassium (-0.2 mEq/L) was observed at 7 hours after the first dose. Serum potassium levels continued to decline during the 48-hour treatment period (-0.8 mEq/L at 48 hours after the first dose). Potassium levels remained stable for 24 hours after the last dose, then rose during the 4-day observation period following discontinuation of Veltassa.


In radiolabeled ADME studies in rats and dogs, patiromer was not systemically absorbed and was excreted in the feces. Quantitative whole-body autoradiography analysis in rats demonstrated that radioactivity was limited to the gastrointestinal tract, with no detectable level of radioactivity in any other tissues or organs.

Drug Interactions

Twenty-eight (28) drugs were tested to determine the potential for interaction with Veltassa.

Fourteen (14) drugs tested did not show an in vitro interaction with Veltassa (acetylsalicylic acid, allopurinol, amoxicillin, apixaban, atorvastatin, cephalexin, digoxin, glipizide, lisinopril, phenytoin, riboflavin, rivaroxaban, spironolactone and valsartan).

Twelve (12) of the 14 drugs that showed an in vitro interaction were subsequently tested in vivo. These studies in healthy volunteers showed that Veltassa did not alter the systemic exposure of amlodipine, cinacalcet, clopidogrel, furosemide, lithium, metoprolol, trimethoprim, verapamil or warfarin when coadministered with Veltassa. Veltassa decreased the systemic exposure of coadministered ciprofloxacin, levothyroxine and metformin. However, there was no interaction when Veltassa and these drugs were taken 3 hours apart (Figure 2) [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Figure 2: Effects of Veltassa on the Pharmacokinetic Exposures of Other Orally Administered Medications with No Dosing Separation and with a 3-Hour Separation

How Supplied/Storage and Handling

How Supplied

Veltassa is supplied as a powder for oral suspension formulated with xanthan gum. Veltassa is packaged in single-use packets containing 8.4 grams, 16.8 grams or 25.2 grams patiromer as follows:

Veltassa (grams) Single Use Packet Carton of 4 Packets Carton of 30 Packets
8.4 NDC 53436-084-01 NDC 53436-084-04 NDC 53436-084-30
16.8 NDC 53436-168-01 - NDC 53436-168-30
25.2 NDC 53436-252-01 - NDC 53436-252-30

Stability and Storage

Veltassa should be stored in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F).

If stored at room temperature (25°C ± 2°C [77°F ± 4°F]), Veltassa must be used within 3 months of being taken out of the refrigerator. For either storage condition, do not use Veltassa after the expiration date printed on the packet.

Avoid exposure to excessive heat above 40°C (104°F).

How should I take Veltassa?

Take Veltassa as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Veltassa is usually taken once daily with food.

Veltassa oral powder must be mixed with water before you take it. Prepare each dose immediately prior to administration. Measure 1/3 cup of water. Pour half of the water into a glass, then add Veltassa and stir. Add the remaining half of the water and stir thoroughly. The powder will not dissolve and the mixture will look cloudy. Add more water to the mixture as needed for desired consistency. Drink the mixture immediately. If powder remains in the glass after drinking, add more water, stir and drink immediately. Repeat as needed to ensure the entire dose is administered.

Do not mix Veltassa oral powder with hot liquid or hot food. Do not take the dry powder without mixing it with water.

While using patiromer, you may need frequent blood tests.

Veltassa may be only part of a treatment program that also includes a special diet. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store unmixed oral powder in the refrigerator. Do not open a medicine packet until you are ready to mix a dose.

You may also store Veltassa at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. The powder must be used within 3 months of being taken out of the refrigerator.