PrescriptionGiant is a FREE prescription savings program that can save you up to 75% on your prescriptions with or without insurance!

Zegerid OTC (Generic Sodium Bicarbonate)

Actual product appearance may differ slightly.

Click the CARD below to print or take a screenshot on your mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to download another app!

If you would like to personalize your card enter your full name in the member name field below the card at this link and click the Update button.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, has several medical uses and may be prescribed for specific conditions. It is important to note that you should always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and use medications only as prescribed. Here are some common uses and guidelines for sodium bicarbonate:

Uses of Sodium Bicarbonate:

  • Antacid: Sodium bicarbonate is often used as an antacid to relieve heartburn and acid indigestion. It works by neutralizing excess stomach acid.
  • Metabolic Acidosis: In medical settings, sodium bicarbonate may be administered intravenously to treat certain cases of metabolic acidosis. This is a condition where there is an excess of acid in the body, often seen in conditions like kidney failure or diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Kidney Protection During Certain Procedures: Sodium bicarbonate may be used to help protect the kidneys during certain medical procedures, such as the administration of contrast agents used in some imaging tests.
  • Urinary Alkalinization: It may be used to alkalinize the urine in specific medical conditions.

How should this medicine be used?

  • Oral Use (Antacid): If prescribed as an antacid, follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider. It is typically taken with a full glass of water. Follow any specific instructions regarding whether to take it with or without food.
  • Intravenous Use (Medical Setting): If sodium bicarbonate is prescribed intravenously, it will be administered by a healthcare professional in a medical setting. Do not attempt to administer intravenous medications yourself.
  • Follow Healthcare Provider’s Instructions: Always follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. This includes the dosage, frequency, and duration of use.
  • Avoid Self-Medication: Do not use sodium bicarbonate without a prescription or medical advice. Self-medication can lead to improper dosing and potential health risks.
  • Consult Your Healthcare Provider: If you have any questions or concerns about the use of sodium bicarbonate, consult your healthcare provider for clarification.

It’s crucial to remember that sodium bicarbonate should be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional, and self-prescribing or self-administration can lead to health risks and complications.

What special precautions should I follow?

While sodium bicarbonate is generally safe when used appropriately, there are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Overuse: Excessive use of sodium bicarbonate can lead to an imbalance in the body’s electrolytes, especially if taken in large amounts over an extended period. This can have serious health consequences.
  • High Sodium Content: Sodium bicarbonate contains sodium. Individuals on a low-sodium diet or those with conditions like high blood pressure should be mindful of their sodium intake.
  • Kidney Disease: People with kidney problems should use sodium bicarbonate with caution, as it may contribute to an increase in sodium levels.
  • Edema: Sodium bicarbonate can lead to fluid retention in some individuals, particularly those with heart failure or edema.
  • Acid-Base Imbalance: Using sodium bicarbonate without proper medical supervision can lead to an imbalance in the body’s acid-base levels.
  • Interaction with Medications: Sodium bicarbonate can interact with certain medications. It’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking.

Always follow the prescribed dosage and usage instructions provided by your healthcare provider. If you are using it for non-medical purposes, such as cleaning or cooking, follow recommended guidelines and recipes. If you experience any adverse effects or have concerns about using sodium bicarbonate, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice based on your health status.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • Timing with Meals: If using sodium bicarbonate as an antacid, follow any specific instructions regarding whether to take it with or without food.
  • Balanced Diet: Maintain a balanced diet to ensure that you’re getting a variety of nutrients. Relying on sodium bicarbonate excessively for digestive issues may not address underlying dietary factors.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • Antacid Use: If you forget a dose of sodium bicarbonate used as an antacid, take it as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time for the next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule.
  • Prescription Medication (Oral or IV): If you miss a dose of a prescription form of sodium bicarbonate, contact your healthcare provider for guidance. Do not double up on doses unless advised to do so.
  • Intravenous Use: If you miss an intravenous dose, it’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider immediately. Do not attempt to administer medications intravenously on your own.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Sodium bicarbonate is generally considered safe when used as directed under the supervision of a healthcare professional. However, like any medication, it can cause side effects. Common side effects include:

  • Belching and Flatulence: Sodium bicarbonate can produce gas in the stomach, leading to belching and flatulence.
  • Stomach Cramps: Some individuals may experience stomach cramps or discomfort.
  • Increased Thirst: Sodium bicarbonate can be associated with increased thirst.
  • Swelling of the Lower Legs or Feet (Edema): In some cases, sodium bicarbonate may contribute to fluid retention, leading to swelling in the lower extremities.
  • High Blood Pressure: The sodium content in sodium bicarbonate may contribute to elevated blood pressure, especially in individuals sensitive to sodium.
  • Worsening of Heart Failure Symptoms: People with heart failure may experience a worsening of symptoms due to fluid retention.
  • Metabolic Alkalosis: Prolonged or excessive use of sodium bicarbonate can lead to metabolic alkalosis, a condition characterized by an imbalance in the body’s acid-base levels.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance: Sodium bicarbonate can affect electrolyte levels, particularly sodium and potassium, potentially leading to imbalances.
  • Muscle Weakness or Cramps: Changes in electrolyte levels can result in muscle weakness or cramps.

It’s important to note that these side effects are more likely to occur with prolonged or excessive use of sodium bicarbonate. Additionally, certain populations, such as individuals with kidney problems or heart conditions, may be more susceptible to side effects.

If you experience severe or persistent side effects, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. In some cases, adjustments to the dosage or discontinuation of sodium bicarbonate may be necessary.

Before using sodium bicarbonate, inform your healthcare provider of any pre-existing medical conditions, medications you are taking, and any history of allergies. This information will help your healthcare provider determine whether sodium bicarbonate is a suitable treatment for your specific situation and whether any adjustments are needed to minimize the risk of side effects.

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

Storage and Disposal of Sodium Bicarbonate:

  • Storage: Store sodium bicarbonate at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep it in its original packaging or container, and ensure that it is tightly closed.
  • Keep Out of Reach of Children: Like any medication, sodium bicarbonate should be kept out of the reach of children to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Do Not Freeze: Do not freeze sodium bicarbonate unless explicitly instructed to do so by the product label or your healthcare provider.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired sodium bicarbonate according to local regulations and guidelines. Do not flush it down the toilet or pour it into a drain unless instructed to do so.

In case of emergency/overdose

If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • Severe stomach pain or cramping
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Swelling, especially in the legs or feet
  • Irregular heartbeat

What other information should I know?

  • Inform Your Healthcare Provider: Before starting sodium bicarbonate treatment, inform your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions, medications (including over-the-counter and herbal supplements), and allergies.
  • Follow Healthcare Provider’s Instructions: Adhere to the prescribed dosage and administration instructions provided by your healthcare provider. Do not alter the dosage or stop taking sodium bicarbonate without consulting your healthcare provider.
  • Regular Monitoring: Your healthcare provider may conduct regular monitoring, such as blood tests, to assess the impact of sodium bicarbonate on your health.
  • Medical Alerts: Wear a medical alert bracelet or carry a medical alert card if you are using sodium bicarbonate for a medical condition. This is especially important if you have a history of certain medical conditions, such as kidney problems.
  • Avoid Excessive Use: Excessive use of sodium bicarbonate can lead to serious health issues. Use it only as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • Interaction with Other Medications: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking, as sodium bicarbonate can interact with certain drugs.
  • Allergic Reactions: Seek medical attention if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.

Always consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist for specific guidance based on your individual health status and circumstances. Following healthcare provider instructions, monitoring for side effects, and seeking prompt medical attention in case of emergencies are essential elements of safe medication use.

Copyright © 2023