Difference Between Potassium Citrate and Potassium Gluconate

Key Difference – Potassium Citrate vs Potassium Gluconate
 

Potassium Citrate and Potassium Gluconate are both  potassium salts that can be used as medicines for humans though a difference can be noted between them based on their properties and general uses. For example; potassium citrate is used to prevent or control certain types of kidney stones while potassium gluconate is used as a mineral supplement for those who are lack potassium in their blood stream. The key difference between Potassium citrate and potassium gluconate is, Potassium citrate is produced by mixing potassium carbonate or bicarbonate with a solution of citric acid whereas potassium gluconate is produced by the reaction between gluconic acid and potassium.

What is Potassium Citrate?

Potassium citrate is also known as tripotassium citrate; it is the potassium salt of citric acid with the molecular formula is C6H5K3O7. It is an odorless and a white crystalline powder with a saline taste. Potassium citrate mainly plays two roles; as a food additive in the food industry and as a medicine in the pharmaceutical industry. When it is taken as a medicine; it is strictly advised not to take potassium citrate tablets without a doctor’s approval.Difference Between Potassium Citrate and Potassium Gluconate

What is Potassium Gluconate?

Potassium gluconate is produced by the reaction between potassium and gluconic acid. Potassium is an essential mineral in the human body. Those who have a deficiency of potassium in blood streams (hypokalemia), take potassium gluconate as a mineral supplement to get the required amount of potassium to their body. This helps to prevent or to treat those who have a low amount of potassium in the blood stream. But to start or to stop taking pills needs to be done after consulting a doctor.

The molecular formula of potassium gluconate is C6H11KO7. It is an odorless, white to yellowish white colored granules or powder.Key Difference - Potassium Citrate vs Potassium Gluconate

What is the difference between Potassium Citrate and Potassium Gluconate?

Production of Potassium Citrate and Potassium Gluconate

Potassium Citrate: Potassium citrate is produced by mixing potassium carbonate (or potassium bicarbonate) with a solution of citric acid. This is done by adding potassium salt to the citric acid solution until the effervescence ceases.

Potassium Gluconate: The reaction between gluconic acid and potassium produces potassium gluconate salt.

Uses of Potassium Citrate and Potassium Gluconate

Potassium Citrate: Potassium citrate is used as a food additive, to control acidity in some food products. It is symbolized using an E number; E332.

In addition, it is used to control or prevent certain types of kidney stones (stones derived from uric acid or cystine). Potassium citrate is a urinary alkalizing agent, so it neutralizes some acids in urine. It helps to prevent or control the formation of crystals.

Potassium Gluconate: Potassium gluconate is mainly used as a mineral supplement for hypokalemia patients; in other words, it is used to treat people who have low levels of potassium in their blood streams.

Side Effects of Potassium Citrate and Potassium Gluconate

Potassium Citrate:

Sides effects of Potassium Citrate include,

  • Diarrhea or loose bowel movements.
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting

Severe reactions include breathing difficulties, tightness in chest, rashes, severe stomach pain or weakness. But there are many other symptoms too.

Potassium Gluconate: Side effects are caused due to several reasons; taking overdose quantity, not following instructions or taking with some other medicines. But. Sometimes reasons are unknown.

Serious side effects:

  • Extreme thirst and increased urination
  • Numbness or tingly feeling in your hands or feet, or around your mouth
  • Severe stomach pain with diarrhea or vomiting
  • Black, bloody, or tarry stools
  • Coughing up blood or vomit that looks similar to coffee grounds
  • Muscle weakness or limp feeling
  • Leg discomfort
  • Confusion, anxiety, feeling like you might pass out
  • Uneven heartbeat

Mild side effects:

  •  Mild nausea or upset stomach
  • Mild or occasional diarrhea
  • Light itchy in hands or feet.
 
Image Courtesy:
“Potassium citrate” by Fvasconcellos 18:02, 5 September 2007 (UTC) – Own work. (Public Domain) via Commons 
“Potassium gluconate” by Fvasconcellos 01:39, 8 October 2007 (UTC) – Own work. (Public Domain) via Commons