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Sodium bicarbonate is a salt that breaks down to form sodium and bicarbonate in water. This makes a solution alkaline, meaning it's able to neutralize acid.

Sodium bicarbonate's ability to neutralize acid helps treat conditions related to high acidity in bodily fluids, such as indigestion, which is caused by too much acid in the stomach.

People commonly use sodium bicarbonate for indigestion. It is also used for stomach ulcers, athletic performance, kidney damage, dental plaque, tooth discoloration, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
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  • Dyspepsia.  Over-the-counter oral antacid products containing sodium bicarbonate are considered effective by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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When taken by mouth: Sodium bicarbonate is likely safe when used appropriately, short-term. Over-the-counter antacid products containing sodium bicarbonate are considered safe and effective by the US FDA. Taking sodium bicarbonate in very high doses is possibly unsafe. It is also possibly unsafe to take sodium bicarbonate that it is not fully dissolved into a solution. Stomach rupture and serious changes in electrolyte levels have occurred.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if sodium bicarbonate is safe to use or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Sodium bicarbonate is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is some concern that it might increase the risk of water retention or pH imbalances in the tissues.

Breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if sodium bicarbonate is safe to use while breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: There isn't enough reliable information to know if sodium bicarbonate is safe to use by mouth in children. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Sodium bicarbonate is possibly unsafe when applied to the skin. There have been reports of high sodium blood levels in children following use.

Burns: Applying sodium bicarbonate to burns might increase burn thickness in the skin.

Sudden loss of heart function (cardiac arrest): Sodium bicarbonate doesn't seem to help in people who have had cardiac arrest. It might reduce survival or slow down recovery.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA): Sodium bicarbonate increases blood acids called ketones, which are associated with DKA. Sodium bicarbonate should not be used in people with this condition.

Swelling (edema): Because sodium bicarbonate contains sodium, it can increase the risk of swelling caused by excess fluids in the body. People with heart failure, liver disease, or other conditions associated with fluid build-up should use sodium bicarbonate with caution.

High calcium levels in the blood: People with high calcium levels in the blood can have trouble getting rid of bicarbonate. Taking sodium bicarbonate might increase the risk of complications such as milk-alkali syndrome.

High sodium levels in the blood: Sodium bicarbonate might increase sodium levels in the blood. People who already have high levels of sodium in the blood should avoid sodium bicarbonate.

High blood pressure: Sodium bicarbonate might increase blood pressure. People who already have high blood pressure should avoid sodium bicarbonate.

Low potassium levels in the blood: Sodium bicarbonate might lower potassium blood levels. People who already have low levels of potassium should avoid sodium bicarbonate.

Amphotericin-B (Abelcet, others)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. Amphotericin B can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with amphotericin B might decrease potassium too much.

Antibiotics (Aminoglycoside antibiotics)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. Aminoglycosides can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with aminoglycosides might decrease potassium too much.

Aspirin

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sodium bicarbonate might increase how quickly the body breaks down aspirin. This might reduce the effects of aspirin. Aspirin and sodium bicarbonate should be taken separately.

Cefpodoxime Proxetil (Vantin)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Cefpodoxime proxetil, an antibiotic, must be changed to its active form in the body. Sodium bicarbonate slows down this change to the active form in the body. This might reduce how well this drug works.

Chlorpropamide (Diabinese)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking sodium bicarbonate with chlorpropamide increases how quickly the body gets rid of chlorpropamide. This might reduce how well chlorpropamide works.

Cisplatin (Platinol-AQ)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. Cisplatin can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with cisplatin might decrease potassium too much.

Medications for asthma (Beta-adrenergic agonists)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. Beta-adrenergic agonists can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with beta-adrenergic agonists might decrease potassium too much.

Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. Some corticosteroids can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with some corticosteroids might decrease potassium too much.

Methylxanthines

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Taking sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. Methylxanthines can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with methylxanthines might decrease potassium too much.

Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sodium bicarbonate might slow down how quickly the body gets rid of pseudoephedrine. This might increase pseudoephedrine levels in the body and increase the risk of side effects.

Stimulant Laxatives

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. Stimulant laxatives can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with stimulant laxatives might decrease potassium too much.

Water pills (Loop diuretics)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with "water pills" might decrease potassium too much.

Water pills (Thiazide diuretics)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Sodium bicarbonate can decrease potassium levels in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium levels. Taking sodium bicarbonate along with "water pills" might decrease potassium levels too much.

Calcium: High levels of calcium can make it more difficult for the body to get rid of sodium bicarbonate. Taking sodium bicarbonate and calcium supplements together might cause bicarbonate levels in the blood to become too high. This can lead to a condition called metabolic alkalosis.
Iron: Sodium bicarbonate reduces how much iron the body absorbs. Sodium bicarbonate and iron supplements should be taken separately.
Sodium: Sodium bicarbonate might increase sodium levels in the blood. If taken with other sodium supplements, sodium bicarbonate might cause sodium levels to become too high.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Sodium bicarbonate is found in FDA-approved OTC antacid products. It is also found in other supplements. Sodium bicarbonate has most often been used by adults in doses of 100-400 mg/kg by mouth daily for 3-7 days. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

Sodium bicarbonate is also found in toothpastes, mouth rinses, and ear drops. Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is also used in foods.

Baking Soda, Bicarbonate of Soda, Bread Soda, Cooking Soda, Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate.

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