JQ, a 58-year-old patient, has been recently diagnosed with hypertension. His resting blood pressure is 158/92. He is prescribed hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg/day and told to eat foods rich in potassium.
After 1 month on hydrochlorothiazide therapy, JQ becomes weak and complains of nausea and vomiting. His muscles are “soft.” His serum potassium level is 3.3 mEq/L.
- Why is it necessary for JQ to eat foods rich in potassium when taking hydrochlorothiazide? Explain your answer.
- Should JQ receive a potassium supplement? Explain your answer.