Potassium and drugs

Potassium or Kalium explaining the symbol K is an alkaline element like sodium and lithium, present in the body primarily inside the cells. It plays a determining part in cellular repolarization and many drugs modify its passage across the plasma membrane.

Potassium is an element whose covalent radius is 1.96 Angström, its ion radius 1.33 Angström and its atomic mass 39. It is very easily ionized.

The total quantity of potassium contained in the body of an adult is approximately 140 g , that is to say 3500 mmol, of which 98% are intracellular and 2% extracellular.

The exchanges of potassium between the intracellular and the extracellular medium are quantitatively limited but they play an essential part in cellular repolarization of excitable tissues.

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