Potassium Citrate; Sodium Citrate; Citric Acid Solution

What is this medication?

POTASSIUM CITRATE; SODIUM CITRATE; CITRIC ACID (poe TASS ee um SIT rate; SOE dee um SIT rate; SIH trik AS id) prevents and treats high acid levels in your body. It may also be used to help prevent gout or kidney stones, conditions caused by high uric acid levels. It works by decreasing the amount of acid in your body.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cytra-3, Polycitra, Polycitra-LC, Tricitrates, VIRTRATE


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Addison's disease
  • Dehydrated
  • Heart disease
  • High levels of potassium in the blood
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Kidney disease
  • Low sodium diet
  • Trouble making urine
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to citric acid, potassium citrate, sodium citrate, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Shake well before using. Use a specially marked spoon or dropper to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take this medication with food. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your care team's advice.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.


NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Antacids
  • Eplerenone
  • Sodium polystyrene sulfonate

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Certain diuretics like spironolactone, triamterene
  • Certain medications for high blood pressure, heart problems like digoxin, enalapril, lisinopril
  • Potassium supplements including salt substitutes

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular check-ups. You may need blood work done while you are taking this medication.

You may need to be on a special diet while you are taking this medication. Talk to your care team about the foods that you eat and the vitamins that you take. Also, ask your care team how much fluid you need to drink.

Check with your care team if you get an attack of severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, or if you sweat a lot. The loss of too much body fluid can make it dangerous for you to take this medication.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • High potassium level—muscle weakness, fast or irregular heartbeat
  • High sodium level—confusion, increased thirst, muscle weakness, unusual weakness or fatigue, twitching muscles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from excessive heat and freezing. Keep the container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2023 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use.

Note: Introduction and Frequently Asked Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

Call Appointment Center 24/7 866.320.4573
Questions 216.444.2200