Lokelma (sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) is a prescription drug used to treat high blood potassium levels. Lokelma’s cost may depend on factors such as your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.

Lokelma is used in adults to treat hyperkalemia (high blood potassium levels).

Lokelma comes as a powder in individual packets that’s mixed with water to make a liquid suspension (mixture) that you swallow. Lokelma contains the active ingredient sodium zirconium cyclosilicate. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

For more details on Lokelma, see this in-depth article.

The price you pay for Lokelma can vary. It may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy you use.

To find out how much you’ll pay for Lokelma, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.

Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover Lokelma. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss Lokelma in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If Lokelma requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.

Be sure to ask your insurance company whether Lokelma requires prior authorization.

Lokelma only comes as a brand-name drug. It’s not currently available in a generic version. A generic contains an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication but tends to cost less.

Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?

Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive. The manufacturer of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.

If you need help covering the cost of Lokelma or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:

On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.

If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Lokelma and cost.

How does the cost of Lokelma compare with that of similar drugs?

The cost of Lokelma compared with similar drugs, such as Veltassa (patiromer) or sodium polystyrene sulfonate, can depend on several factors.

For example, your cost for each of these medications may depend on:

  • whether there are any savings programs available for the drug you’re prescribed
  • whether you have insurance or are paying out of pocket
  • how long your treatment lasts

If you have questions about the cost of Lokelma compared with similar medications, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider. They can share more details on treatment costs based on your specific situation.

Is Lokelma covered by Medicare?

It’s possible. To find out whether your Medicare plan covers the cost of Lokelma, call your plan provider. There are many different types of Medicare plans available, and your cost and coverage depend on your individual plan benefits.

Keep in mind that your plan may have prior authorization requirements before it will cover this medication.

You can also ask your doctor about the cost of Lokelma if you have Medicare.

How much does Lokelma cost without insurance?

What you’ll pay for Lokelma without insurance depends on several factors. Generally, your cost will be higher without insurance. Factors that could affect your cost include:

  • your dosage
  • whether you qualify for any savings programs
  • the pharmacy you use

To find out the exact cost of Lokelma without insurance, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Also, you may want to check with a few pharmacies to compare prices.

You can also visit Optum Perks* to get price estimates for Lokelma when you use coupons from the site. It’s important to note that Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.

* Optum Perks is a sister site of Healthline.

If you still have questions about the cost of Lokelma, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for Lokelma.

Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:

  • Does my cost for Lokelma depend on my dosage?
  • Would I pay a higher price for Lokelma compared with Veltassa without insurance?
  • How does the cost of Lokelma compare with generic sodium polystyrene sulfonate?

To learn more about Lokelma, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.