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Resonium A (Sodium Polystyrene Sulphonate)

What Resonium A is and what it is used for

Resonium A contains a medicine called sodium polystyrene sulphonate. This belongs to a group of medicines called ‘ion exchange resins’.

Resonium A is used to treat something called ‘hyperkalaemia’. This is when there is too much potassium in your blood. It works by removing this extra potassium to bring your levels back to normal. It is often given to people who have kidney problems and people on dialysis.

Before you are given Resonium A

Do not use this medicine and tell your doctor or nurse if:

  • You are allergic (hypersensitive) to sodium polystyrene sulphonate or any of the other ingredients in this medicine. Signs of an allergic reaction include: a rash, swallowing or breathing problems, swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue
  • You have been told that you have a low level of potassium in your blood
  • Your gut is partially or completely blocked (obstructive bowel disease)
  • You are taking a sweetener called sorbitol (a «sugar-free» sweetener used to sweeten food). This is because taking sorbitol and Resonium A at the same time can cause severe damage to your gut. You must not take any sorbitol whilst using Resonium A.

Do not use this medicine if any of the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before using Resonium A.

Take special care and check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before using Resonium A if:

  • You have heart problems
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You have kidney problems
  • You have swelling in your arms or legs (oedema)

It is for your baby, and they were premature, had a low birth-weight or have reduced gut movement If you are not sure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before using Resonium A.

Taking other medicines

Please tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines. This includes medicines you can buy without prescription, including herbal medicines. This is because Resonium A can affect the way other medicines work. Also some medicines can affect the way Resonium A works.

In particular, check with your doctor if you  are taking the following medicines:

Medicines that contain salts such as magnesium, potassium or calcium. Ask your doctor if you are not sure

  1. Some medicines for constipation (laxatives) that contain magnesium
  2. Some medicines for indigestion (antacids) that contain magnesium or aluminium
  3. Digoxin or similar medicines from digitalis – for heart problems
  4. Levothyroxine or thyroxine – for an under-active thyroid
  5. Lithium – for mental illness

If you are not sure if any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before using Resonium A.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Talk to your doctor before using this medicine if:

You are pregnant, might become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant

You are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.

How Resonium A is given

Your doctor or nurse will normally give you this medicine. If you are not sure why you are being given Resonium A or have any questions about how much Resonium A is being given to you, speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

The dose will depend on the results of blood tests

For children the dose is also worked out according to how much the child weighs

Having the medicine

Resonium A can be given by mouth or put into the back passage (rectum)

If given by mouth the powder can be swallowed with a little water or be made into a paste with something sweet, such as jam or honey

It should not be mixed with fruit juice, this will stop the medicine working properly

If given by mouth, it is important to sit up while taking the medicine so that you do not breathe in any powder into your lungs

If given by the back passage you should try to keep the medicine in your back passage for at least 9 hours. Then it needs to be thoroughly washed out

How much is normally given: Adults (including the elderly] By mouth

The usual dose is 15g (one spoonful) three or four times a day Into the back passage

The usual dose is 30g (two spoonfuls) once a day In some cases, the medicine may be given both by mouth and into the back passage. This is where your potassium levels need to be lowered more quickly.


If your child cannot take the medicine by mouth, it may be given into the back passage.

The daily dose is 1gfor each kilogram of bodyweight Once the medicine has started working the dose may be lowered to 0.5g daily for each kilogram of bodyweight

New-born babies

Resonium A is only given into the back passage

The daily dose is between 0.5g and 1g for each kilogram of bodyweight It is important to give the right dose for children and babies. If too much is given, children and babies could get serious constipation.

If you have more Resonium A than you should

It is unlikely that your doctor or nurse will give you too much medicine. Your doctor and nurse will be checking your progress, and checking the medicine that you are given. Ask them if you are not sure why you are getting a dose of medicine.

If you are given too much Resonium A the following effects may happen:

  • Feeling irritable or confused
  • Being unable to concentrate
  • Muscle weakness and poor reflexes leading to paralysis
  • Breathing problems
  • Faster or pounding heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps

If you miss a dose of Resonium A

Your doctor or nurse will give instructions about when to have your medicine. It is unlikely that a dose will be missed. If you think that you may have missed a dose, talk to your doctor or nurse.

If you stop being given Resonium A

Keep having Resonium A until your doctor tells you to stop. If you stop having Resonium A, your illness may come back.

Blood Tests

Your doctor may do regular blood tests while you are taking this medicine. This is to check the levels of salts (potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium) in your blood.

Slf you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Resonium A can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Tell a doctor or nurse straight away if you notice any of the following serious side effects:

You have an allergic reaction. The signs may include: a rash, swallowing or breathing problems, swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue

Blood in your sick (vomit) or black tarry stools

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you get any of the following side effects:

  • Feeling tired, confused, having muscle weakness, cramps or a change in heart rate. These may be due to having low levels of potassium in your body
  • Feeling jittery, having fits or muscle cramps. This may be due to low levels of calcium or magnesium in your body
  • High blood pressure, kidney problems, heart problems or swelling in your limbs. This may be due to high levels of sodium in your body
  • Stomach upset, pain in your gut or blockage of the gut
  • Severe abdominal (tummy) pain, or collapse
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling sick, being sick, constipation or diarrhoea
  • Feeling short of breath or coughing. This could be the first sign of a serious chest infection. This can be caused by accidentally breathing in this medicine

Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if any of the side effects gets serious or lasts longer than a few days, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet.

How to store Resonium A

This medicine will be kept by your doctor or pharmacist in a safe place where children cannot see or reach it. Store in a dry place.

Do not use Resonium A after the expiry date which is stated on the container.

The expiry date refers to the last date of that month.

Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste.

Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.

Further Information

What Resonium A contains

99.934% w/w of the active substance, sodium polystyrene sulphonate

The other ingredients are saccharin and vanillin

What Resonium A looks like and contents of the pack

Resonium A is a buff coloured powder. It is supplied in containers of 454g with a 15g scoop.

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