Sodium bicarbonate reduces stomach acid. It is used as an antacid to treat heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach. Sodium bicarbonate is a very quick-acting antacid. It should be used only for temporary relief. If you need to treat long-term stomach acid problems (e.g., peptic ulcer disease, GERD), talk with your doctor about other medications.
Sodium bicarbonate is the active ingredient in baking soda.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may be used to make the urine less acidic. This effect helps the kidneys get rid of uric acid, thereby helping to prevent gout and kidney stones. It can make some medications (e.g., sulfonamides) work better or can help your body get rid of too much medication (e.g., phenobarbital). This medication can also prevent and treat certain metabolic problems (acidosis) caused by kidney disease.
Take this medication by mouth, usually every 4 hours as needed or as directed by your doctor. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
If you are self-treating and your acid problems persist or worsen after you have used this product for 2 weeks, or if you think you have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention. If you are using this medication regularly on a daily basis for more than 2 weeks, you may have a medical problem that needs different treatment. Ask your doctor if this is the right medication for you.
If your doctor has directed you to take this medication for acidosis or to alkalinize your urine, your dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To get the most benefit from this medication, take it regularly, exactly as directed. It is usually taken by mouth several times a day. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Do not increase the dose, take it more often or continue taking this for longer than prescribed.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that 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.
When taken with sodium bicarbonate, large doses of calcium from your diet, medications, or supplements can rarely cause a serious problem called milk-alkali syndrome. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using calcium products safely while you are using this medication. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: dizziness, muscle aches/spasms, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, irritability, memory problems), vomiting, weakness, change in the amount of urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe 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.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking sodium bicarbonate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This product should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this product, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: a certain breathing problem (pulmonary edema), congestive heart failure, severe kidney disease (e.g., inability to make urine), severe liver disease (e.g., ascites, cirrhosis), high sodium levels, swollen ankles/legs/feet due to retaining water (peripheral edema).
If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: low calcium levels, high blood pressure, heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat), kidney disease.
Because this medication contains salt (sodium), do not use if you are on a salt-restricted diet.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. This medication may worsen high blood pressure during pregnancy (toxemia of pregnancy). Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aspirin and other salicylates (such as salsalate), barbiturates (such as phenobarbital), calcium supplements, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), memantine, medications with a special coating to protect the stomach (enteric coating), lithium, quinidine, "water pills" (thiazide diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide).
This medication can decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs that require stomach acid to work, including ampicillin, atazanavir, certain azole antifungals (such as ketoconazole, itraconazole), iron supplements, pazopanib, sucralfate, among others. Before using this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist on how to manage this possible interaction.
If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: muscle spasms, seizures.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., calcium/potassium/sodium levels, bicarbonate levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects if you are taking large doses or taking this medication for more than 2 weeks. Consult your doctor for more details.
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.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from heat, light, and moisture. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised April 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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