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Sodium Bicarbonate

Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Brand Name: N/A

Generic Name: Sodium Bicarbonate

Drug Class: Alkalinizing Agents

What Is Sodium Bicarbonate and How Does It Work?

Sodium bicarbonate is indicated in the treatment of metabolic acidosis which may occur in severe renal disease, uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory insufficiency due to shock or severe dehydration, extracorporeal circulation of blood, cardiac arrest and severe primary lactic acidosis. Sodium bicarbonate is further indicated in the treatment of certain drug intoxications, including barbiturates (where dissociation of the barbiturate-protein complex is desired), in poisoning by salicylates or methyl alcohol and in hemolytic reactions requiring alkalinization of the urine to diminish nephrotoxicity of hemoglobin and its breakdown products. Sodium bicarbonate also is indicated in severe diarrhea, which is often accompanied by a significant loss of bicarbonate.

Treatment of metabolic acidosis should, if possible, be superimposed on measures designed to control the basic cause of the acidosis – e.g., insulin in uncomplicated diabetes, blood volume restoration in shock. But since an appreciable time interval may elapse before all of the ancillary effects are brought about, bicarbonate therapy is indicated to minimize risks inherent to the acidosis itself.

Vigorous bicarbonate therapy is required in any form of metabolic acidosis where a rapid increase in plasma total CO2 content is crucial – e.g., cardiac arrest, circulatory insufficiency due to shock or severe dehydration, and in severe primary lactic acidosis or severe diabetic acidosis.

Dosages of Sodium Bicarbonate

Adult and Pediatric Dosage Forms and Strengths

Injectable solution

  • 4%
  • 4.2%
  • 7.5%
  • 8.4%

Tablet

  • 325 mg
  • 650 mg

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:

Cardiac Arrest

Adult, Initial: 1 mEq/kg/dose intravenous (IV) x1; base subsequent doses on results of arterial blood pH and PaCO2 as well as calculation of base deficit

Repeat doses may be considered in the setting of prolonged cardiac arrest only after adequate alveolar ventilation has been established

Infants, under 2 years (use 4.2% solution)

  • Initial: 1 mEq/kg/min given over 1-2 minutes intravenous/intraosseous (IV/IO), THEN
  • 1 mEq/kg IV q10min of arrest
  • Not to exceed 8 mEq/kg/day

Children over 2 years

  • Initial: 1 mEq/kg/dose intravenous (IV) x1; base subsequent doses on results of arterial blood pH and PaCO2 as well as calculation of base deficit
  • Repeat doses may be considered in the setting of prolonged cardiac arrest only after adequate alveolar ventilation has been established

Hyperkalemia

  • 50 mEq intravenous (IV) over 5 minutes

Metabolic Acidosis (Non-Life-Threatening)

  • Adult: 2-5 mEq/kg intravenous (IV) infusion over 4-8 hours depending on the severity of acidosis as judged by the lowering of total CO2 content, clinical condition and pH
  • Older children: 2-5 mEq/kg IV infusion over 4-8 hours depending on the severity of acidosis as judged by the lowering of total CO2 content, clinical condition and pH

Severe Metabolic Acidosis (Except Hypercarbic Acidosis)

  • 90 to 180 mEq/L (~ 7.5-15 g) at a rate of 1-1.5 L (first hour); adjust for further management as neede

Administration

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Sodium Bicarbonate?

Common side effects of sodium_bicarbonate include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects may occur. Call your doctor for information and medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What Other Drugs Interact with Sodium Bicarbonate?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication for your condition, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions or side effects and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of this medicine or any medicine before getting further information from your doctor, healthcare provider or pharmacist first.

Severe interactions of sodium_bicarbonate include:

  • None

Sodium bicarbonate has serious interactions with at least 24 different drugs.

Sodium bicarbonate has moderate interactions with at least 93 different drugs.

Mild interactions of sodium bicarbonate include:

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Sodium Bicarbonate?

Warnings

This medication contains sodium bicarbonate. Do not take sodium bicarbonate if you are allergic to sodium bicarbonate or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

Contraindications

Effects of Drug Abuse

  • No information available

Short-Term Effects

  • Somnolence may occur; caution when operating heavy machinery.
  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Sodium Bicarbonate?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Sodium Bicarbonate?"

Cautions

Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Use sodium bicarbonate with caution during pregnancy if benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available, or neither animal nor human studies were done.
  • It is not known if sodium bicarbonate is excreted in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Reviewed on 1/11/2018


Medscape. Sodium Bicarbonate.
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/sodium-bicarbonate-342305
DailyMed. Sodium Bicarbonate.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=77698221-a01d-4568-a7bc-d3d4e982875d

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