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
- 325 mg
- 650 mg
Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:
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
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
- 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
- Monitor: serum potassium
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