Sodium bicarbonate (sodium bicarbonate)

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About This Drug

Sodium Bicarbonate is an alkalizer, it is used to decrease acidity in your blood/urine. It is given in the vein (IV) or orally (by mouth).

Possible Side Effects 

  • Skin and tissue irritation may involve redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site. This happens if the drug leaks out of the vein and into nearby tissue.
  • An increase of sodium bicarbonate in your body, which can sometimes cause muscle twitching, hand tremor, muscle spasms, excess gas, pain in your abdomen, and irritability.
  • Electrolyte changes

Note: Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Trouble breathing because of fluid build-up in your lungs
  • If you have congestive heart failure, it could get worse because of fluid build-up

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

How to Take Your Medication

  • For Oral only: Take this drug by mouth without food, at least 1 - 3 hours after you eat.
  • Missed dose: If you vomit or miss a dose, take your next dose at the regular time, and contact your physician. Do not take 2 doses at the same time and do not double up on the next dose.
  • Storage: Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature. Discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of sodium bicarbonate with food, however this medication should be taken on an empty stomach.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with sodium bicarbonate. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions.
  • The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. You should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Pain in your chest
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • While you are getting this drug, please tell your nurse right away if you have any pain, redness, or swelling at the site of the IV infusion
  • Muscle twitching, spasms
  • Hand tremors
  • Irritability and/or confusion
  • Swelling of arms, hands, legs and/or feet
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • Pain in your abdomen that does not go away
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug may harm an unborn child. For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving this drug. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: Women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: This drug is not expected to affect your ability to have children in the future. Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug.

Revised May 2019

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2019. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.