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SODIUM BICARBONATE

Brand Name(s) : Acidex (with sodium alginate and calcium carbonate), Alker-Seltzer (with aspirin and citric acid), Andrews (with citric acid and magnesium sulphate), Andrews Plus (with citric acid, paracetamol, potassium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate and ascorbic acid), Bisodol (calcium carbonate and light magnesium carbonate), Bisodol Extra (with alginic acid and magaldrate), Carbex (with simeticone), Electrolade (with dextrose, potassium chloride and sodium chloride), Enos (with citric acid and sodium bicarbonate), Entrocalm heartburn and indigestion relief (with calcium carbonate and sodium alginate), Gastrocote (with alginic acid, aluminium hydroxide and magnesium trisilicate), Gaviscon (with calcium carbonate and sodium alginate), Gaviscon Cool (with calcium carbonate and sodium alginate), Gaviscon Double Action (with calcium carbonate and sodium alginate), Klean-Prep (with polyethylene glycol, sodium sulphate, sodium chloride and potassium chloride), Movicol (with macrogol, sodium chloride and potassium chloride), Movicol-Half (with macrogol, sodium chloride and potassium chloride), Movicol-Paediatric Plain (with macrogol, sodium chloride and potassium chloride), Nurse Harvey's Gripe Mixture, Panadol Actifast (with paracetamol), Peptac Liquid (with calcium carbonate and sodium alginate), Phosphate-Sandoz (with potassium bicarbonate and sodium acid phosphate), Resolve (with paracetamol, citric acid, potassium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate and ascorbic acid), Resolve Plus (with paracetamol and caffeine), Settlers Heartburn (with alginic acid, aluminium hydroxide and magnesium trisilicate), Thio-Tepa (with thiotepa and sodium chloride), Valonorm (with atropine, peppermint oil, magnesium carbonate, aluminium hydroxide, calcium carbonate and magnesium trisilicate)
Warnings
Uses
Side Effects
Precautions
Interactions
Overdose

SODIUM BICARBONATE WARNINGS

Sodium bicarbonate should be used with caution in: patients with kidney or liver problems, heart failure, high blood pressure, or those on a low sodium diet.

It should not be used in: allergy to sodium bicarbonate or to any other ingredient in the product.

Also see list of precautions and interactions.

STORAGE

No special storage conditions are required.

SODIUM BICARBONATE USES

What is it used for?

  • Sodium bicarbonate is used to treat a very wide variety of problems.

It is a chemical compound (sodium hydrogen carbonate or NaHCO3), and is sometimes known as an antacid, bicarb, bicarbonate of soda or baking soda.

It is used mainly to neutralise overly acidic conditions.

In general this drug is used to treat problems caused by overly acidic conditions, whether in the stomach, urine or the blood. Sodium bicarbonate is present as a component of many other drugs used to treat stomach conditions.

Benefits of being on this drug can include prevention of symptoms caused by overly acidic conditions in the stomach, urine or blood. Typically, when taken orally as an antacid alongside other drugs (e.g. alginates) it may prevent or reduce indigestion (dyspepsia) and prevent acid reflux symptoms (e.g. heartburn or acid regurgitation). Taken alone, it is useful for the relief of mild symptoms of a urinary tract infection when given by mouth or the relief of gripe and wind in young babies; when given intravenously it can be used to control acidosis (acidic blood) and when given as a solution in the ear it can help soften ear wax before removal by syringing.

Listed below are the typical uses of sodium bicarbonate.

  • Relief of discomfort in mild urinary-tract infections (when given orally)
  • For the relief of wind and griping pains in babies under 1 year of age (when given orally)
  • Controlling severe metabolic acidosis (when given intravenously)
  • To soften ear wax before its removal by syringing (when given as ear drops)
  • In combination with other drugs: preventing or reducing indigestion (dyspepsia) and preventing acid reflux symptoms (e.g. heartburn or acid regurgitation).

On occasion your doctor may prescribe this medicine to treat a condition not on the above list.

HOW TO USE/TAKE

How often do I take it?

  • Take this medication by mouth, usually as a powder dissolved in water. It is also available to take as ear drops (to soften ear wax), and in liquid form for injection (to treat too much acid in the blood, metabolic acidosis).
  • Remember to use it at the same time each day - unless specifically told otherwise by your doctor.
  • It may take some time before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
  • Certain medical conditions may require different dosage instructions as directed by your doctor.

What dose?

  • Dosage is based on your age, gender, medical condition, response to therapy, and use of certain interacting medicines.

Do I need to avoid anything?

  • No. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

When can I stop?

  • Always complete the full course as prescribed by your doctor.

SODIUM BICARBONATE SIDE EFFECTS

If any of these persist or you consider them severe then inform your doctor.

Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • none.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine (which includes vaccines, herbals and over the counter medicines) that you are taking. It is run by the medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory agency (MHRA). Please report any suspected side effect on the Yellow Card Scheme website.

SODIUM BICARBONATE PRECAUTIONS

Before taking sodium bicarbonate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other antacid drugs; or if you have any other allergies.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • None known.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any kidney or liver problems, or heart conditions such as heart failure, history of high blood pressure, or if you are on a low sodium diet.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Does alcohol intake affect this drug?

  • Alcohol is not known to affect this drug

The elderly: sodium bicarbonate can be used in the elderly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding - please ensure you read the detailed information below

PREGNANCY

Sodium bicarbonate is suitable to take during pregnancy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts or questions about this.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during pregnancy whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

BREAST FEEDING

Sodium bicarbonate is suitable to take if you are breastfeeding.

It is sensible to limit use of medication during breastfeeding whenever possible. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks in individual circumstances and after a careful assessment of your specific health situation.

If you have any doubts or concerns you are advised to discuss the medicine with your doctor or pharmacist.

SODIUM BICARBONATE INTERACTIONS

Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious, possibly fatal interactions may occur:

  • None known.

If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting sodium bicarbonate.

  • None known.

This information does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using sodium bicarbonate, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use.

SODIUM BICARBONATE OVERDOSE

Symptoms of an overdose may include: symptoms of high sodium levels in the blood (hypernatraemia), which may include drowsiness and irritability, fever, rapid breathing (tachypnoea) and increased depth of breathing (hyperpnoea). In more severe instances of acute sodium overload signs of dehydration and fits may occur.

If you think you, or someone you care for, might have accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of sodium bicarbonate or intentional overdose is suspected, contact your local hospital, GP or if in England call 111. In Scotland call NHS 24. In Wales, call NHS Direct Wales. In the case of medical emergencies, always dial 999.

MISSED DOSE

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

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Source: Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by Boots UK Limited or TicTac Communications Ltd. This copyrighted material is sourced from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, except as may be authorised by the applicable terms of use.
CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse events, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular medicine is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any medicine, changing any diet, or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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