International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 513–518 | Cite as

Pharmacists’ interventions on intravenous to oral conversion for potassium

  • B. CharpiatEmail author
  • P. Bedouch
  • O. Conort
  • M. Juste
  • F. X. Rose
  • R. Roubille
  • B. Allenet
Research Article


Background Guidelines recommend use of the oral route whenever possible to treat or prevent hypokalemia. Although a myriad of papers have been published regarding intravenous to oral (IV to PO) therapy conversion programs and about clinical pharmacy services provided in hospitals, little is known on the role of hospital pharmacists in promoting the oral route for potassium administration. Objective The aim of this work was to describe the frequency of interventions related to IV to PO potassium therapy conversions performed by hospital pharmacists. Setting French hospitals recording pharmacist’s interventions on the website tool of the French Society of Clinical Pharmacy. Methods From the pharmacist’s interventions (PI) dataset recorded we extracted all interventions related to potassium IV to PO conversion. We assessed the acceptance rate of these PI by prescribers. Additional free text information in the dataset was analysed. Main outcome measures IV to PO potassium therapy conversions related to potassium chloride. Results From January 2007 to December 2010, 87 hospitals recorded 1,868 PIs concerning IV to PO therapy conversion. Among these, 16 (<1 %) concerned potassium chloride. They were recorded by four hospitals (4.6 %) with respectively 12, 2, 1 and 1 PIs. Six PIs were accepted by physicians and the prescriptions were modified. Conclusion PIs to promote the administration of potassium by the oral route are extremely rare. Our results and scarce previously published data reveal that this field of practice remains almost unexplored. These findings highlight an important gap in the field of intravenous to oral therapy programs. This situation must be regarded as unsatisfactory and should lead to setting up more education and research programs.


Conversion Interventions Intravenous administration Oral administration Pharmacist Potassium chloride 



We thank Dr Alison Foote of the Grenoble Clinical Research Centre for critically editing the manuscript including for English usage.


This study was supported by a grant from The French Society of Clinical Pharmacy, a nonprofit foundation for clinical pharmacy research and development.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Charpiat
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Bedouch
    • 1
  • O. Conort
    • 3
  • M. Juste
    • 4
  • F. X. Rose
    • 5
  • R. Roubille
    • 6
  • B. Allenet
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS, TIMC-IMAG UMR 5525Joseph-Fourier University—Grenoble 1La Tronche CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Croix-Rousse HospitalHospices Civils de LyonLyon Cedex 04France
  3. 3.Pharmacy Department, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de ParisCochin HospitalParisFrance
  4. 4.Pharmacy DepartmentAuban-Moët HospitalÉpernayFrance
  5. 5.Pharmacy DepartmentEPSM-MorbihanSaint-AvéFrance
  6. 6.Pharmacy DepartmentLucien-Hussel HospitalVienneFrance

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