Drug Usage Statistics, United States, 2008 - 2018

Potassium Summary for 2018

Top drug rank #38 ( 1)
Estimated number of prescriptions in the United States (2018) 20,414,037
Estimated number of patients in the United States (2018) 4,619,520
Average total drug cost (USD)  
Per prescription $49.28
Per day of therapy $0.92/day
Average out-of-pocket cost (USD)  
Per prescription $12.87
Per day of therapy $0.25/day

Total Prescriptions and Patients Per Year (2008 - 2018)

Rank of Top Drugs Over Time

"Rank" refers to the frequency that a given medication is prescribed within a calendar year compared to all other medications. A rank of "4" would indicate that the medication was the fourth most commonly prescribed medication.

Year Rank Change
2008 15  1
2009 19  4
2010 17  2
2011 22  5
2012 20  2
2013 21  1
Year Rank Change
2014 24  3
2015 27  3
2016 33  6
2017 37  4
2018 38  1

Drug Cost Over Time (2008 - 2018)

  • Cost Per Prescription Fill: Average cost per filled prescription regardless of how many days of therapy the prescription is filled for (e.g. 10 days, 30 days, 90 days, etc.)
  • Cost per Day of Therapy: The average cost per prescription fill divided by the days of therapy. For example, a 10-day antibiotic course costing $30 would be $3 per day. Similarly, a 30-day supply of an oral antihypetensive costing $30 would be $1 per day.

  • Total cost: The average total cost of the medication including the out-of-pocket cost (see below) plus the amount paid by other parties (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, Veterans Administration, TRICARE, other state/federal sources, Worker's compensation, and other miscellaneous sources)
  • Out-of-pocket cost: The average payment made by the patient which may include deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, or the cash price paid without insurance coverage.

Cost Per Prescription Fill (USD)

Cost Per Day of Therapy (USD/day)

NADAC (National Average Drug Acquisition Cost)

NADAC is the approximate cost of a medication that pharmacies (not patients) pay for a medication in the United States. Cost data is obtained via monthly surveys of community pharmacies. NADAC pricing is considered a more accurate alternative than average wholesale price (AWP). For more information, see NADAC (from Data.Medicaid.gov) or the NADAC data explorer.

NADAC prices vary by NDC (national drug code number), manufacturer, quanity of medication per bottle, and many other factors. The cost data displayed below represents the average pharmacy acquisition cost over the past 90 days.

Description Avg NADAC Price Pricing Unit

Distribution of Dispensed Dosage Forms (2018)

Dosage Form Strength % of Dispensed Products
Tablet/capsule 10 meq 48.3%
Tablet/capsule 20 meq 43.2%
Other, unspecified, or misc. 8.5%

Distribution of Days Supplied (2018)

"Days supply" is defined as the number of days that a prescription should last. For example, a prescription of 60 tablets that is taken twice daily has a day supply of 30 days.

Related Drugs

Drug Name Total Prescriptions (2018)
Potassium (this drug) 20,414,038
Sodium 2,269,423
Polyethylene Glycol 3350 With Electrolytes 1,279,926
Sodium Sulfate; Potassium Sulfate; Magnesium Sulfate 861,768

Drug Synonyms

Drug synonyms are used during the sanitation and standardization process of "cleaning" the original data source (MEPS). Occassionally, brand names may be listed below that are no longer on the market or are very infrequently used.

Brand Name Synonyms
  • K+10
  • K+8
  • K-lease
  • K-tab
  • Kaon CL
  • Kaon CL-10
  • Klor-con
  • Klor-con M10
  • Klor-con M15
  • Klor-con M20
  • Klotrix
  • Micro-k
  • Micro-k 10
  • Micro-k LS
  • Potassium Chloride 10meq IN Plastic Container
  • Potassium Chloride 20meq IN Plastic Container
  • Potassium Chloride 30meq IN Plastic Container
  • Potassium Chloride 40meq IN Plastic Container
  • Potassium Chloride IN Plastic Container
  • Slow-k
  • Ten-k
  • Urocit-k
  • Potassium Chloride 10meq
  • Potassium Chloride 20meq
  • Potassium Chloride 40meq
Generic Drug Synonyms and Salts
  • Potassium Acetate
  • Potassium Bicarbonate
  • Potassium Carbonate
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Potassium Hydroxide
  • Potassium Nitrate
  • Potassium Sulfate
  • Potassium

FDA Approval Information

Established Pharmacologic Class (EPC): Potassium Salt, Calculi Dissolution Agent, Anti-coagulant
Initial FDA approval date: Prior to January 1, 1982
First FDA applicant: Discn
First dosage form: Capsule, Extended Release (oral)

Prescription data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) 2008-2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, MD. ClinCalc DrugStats Database version 21.2. Read more about the ClinCalc DrugStats database.

All ClinCalc DrugStats figures and graphs on this page are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).


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Updated Jul 3, 2021
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