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Baking soda (Generic Sodium Bicarbonate)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

An antacid used to treat acid indigestion and heartburn is sodium bicarbonate. In some circumstances, your doctor may also advise you to take sodium bicarbonate to reduce the acidity of your blood or urine.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you’re interested in using this drug for any other conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

You can take sodium bicarbonate orally as a pill or powder. Depending on why you’re taking sodium bicarbonate, you may take it once a day all the way up to four times. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow their instructions. Take sodium bicarbonate as prescribed. Never take it in quantities or frequencies other than those recommended by your doctor.

A full glass of water should be consumed with sodium bicarbonate, which is used as an antacid, one to two hours after meals. If you’re taking sodium bicarbonate for a different purpose, you can take it with or without food. On an extremely full stomach, avoid taking sodium bicarbonate.

At least 4 ounces (120 millilitres) of water should be used to dissolve the sodium bicarbonate powder. Utilizing a measuring spoon, precisely measure powdered amounts.

Unless your doctor instructs you to, do not use sodium bicarbonate for longer than two weeks. Make an appointment with your doctor if sodium bicarbonate does not help your symptoms.

Unless your doctor instructs you to, never give sodium bicarbonate to children younger than 12 years old.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking sodium bicarbonate,

  • In particular, mention any additional antacids, aspirin or aspirin-like medications, benzodiazepines, iron, ketoconazole (Nizoral), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), methenamine (Hiprex, Urex), methotrexate, quinidine, sulfa-containing antibiotics, tetracycline (Sumycin), or vitamins that you are taking to your doctor and pharmacist. When taking sodium bicarbonate with other medications, wait at least 2 hours.
  • Inform your physician if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or recent stomach or intestine bleeding.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking sodium bicarbonate.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

The amount of sodium in your body rises as a result of this medication. Consult your doctor before taking sodium bicarbonate if you are on a diet that restricts your intake of sodium.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose of sodium bicarbonate as soon as you remember it if your doctor prescribed you to take it on a specific schedule. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from sodium bicarbonate are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Heightened thirst
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas

Call your doctor right away and stop taking sodium bicarbonate if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Terrible headache
  • Nausea
  • Poop that looks like coffee grounds
  • Reduced appetite
  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • An ongoing need to urinate
  • Gradual breathing
  • Edoema in the lower legs or feet
  • Tarry, dark, or bloody stools
  • Pee with blood

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all scheduled appointments if your doctor has ordered sodium bicarbonate so that the effectiveness of the medication can be evaluated.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Alka-Seltzer® Heartburn
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