Atomic number 11, Elemental Sodium, Na, Natrium, Saline, Sea Salt, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Lactate, Table Salt.
Sodium is a type of metal that is very reactive. Since it's so reactive, sodium is never found in free form in nature. Instead, sodium is always found as a salt. The most common dietary form of sodium is sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is commonly referred to as table salt.
People take sodium by mouth in the form of sodium chloride for low sodium levels, to prevent kidney toxicity caused by the drug amphotericin B, and to prevent kidney toxicity caused by contrast agents used to image parts of the body.
People inject sodium intravenously (by IV) in the form of sodium chloride solution (called saline) to prevent kidney toxicity caused by the drug amphotericin B, to reduce brain swelling and pressure inside the skull, and for a complication of infection called sepsis.
People apply sodium in the form of sodium chloride solution (called saline) for pinkeye (conjunctivitis), dry eye syndrome, mouth sores, nasal congestion, sore throat, and sinusitis.
People inhale sodium in the form of sodium chloride solution for cystic fibrosis.
In foods, sodium chloride is used to add flavor and preserve food.
How does it work?
Inhaling sodium chloride helps produce sputum (phlegm, mucus). This makes it easier for patients with cystic fibrosis to breathe. Sodium also helps the body to balance levels of fluid and electrolytes in the body.
- Low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia). Giving sodium chloride solutions (called hypertonic saline) intravenously (by IV) to patients with moderately or severely low blood levels of sodium helps reduce symptoms caused by low levels of sodium.
Likely Effective for...
- Cystic fibrosis. When used as an inhalant along with medicine to dilate airway passages, 3% to 7% solutions of sodium chloride (called hypertonic saline) reduce airway obstruction short-term and reduce the number of lung problems and improve quality of life long-term in patients with cystic fibrosis.
Possibly Effective for...
- Kidney problems caused by the drug amphotericin B. Giving sodium chloride solution by mouth or intravenously (by IV) to patients receiving amphotericin B lessens the decline in kidney function caused by amphotericin B.
- Swelling of the sinus. Irrigating nasal passages with sodium chloride solution appears to improve symptoms and quality of life in patients with long-term swelling of the sinuses. However, sodium chloride solution does not seem to be as effective as steroid drugs.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Dry eye syndrome.
- Kidney problems caused by dyes used during some X-ray exams..
- Mouth sores.
- Sore throat.
- To reduce brain swelling and pressure inside the skull.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Sodium is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth appropriately or when administered as a medicine. In some people, sodium might increase blood pressure.
Doses less than 2.3 grams per day are safe for most adults. When taken in very large amounts, sodium is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Larger doses might cause too much sodium to build up in the body. This might cause serious side effects including high blood pressure, swelling of the lining of the stomach, and increased risk of stomach cancer. High amounts of sodium might also increase bone and muscle loss in people on bed rest.
Children: Sodium is LIKELY SAFE for most children when taken by mouth appropriately. Sodium is safe when used in doses of less than 1.5 grams per day in children ages 1 to 3 years, 1.9 grams per day in children 4 to 8 years, 2.2 grams per day in children 9 to 13 years, and 2.3 grams per day in adolescents. Sodium is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken in higher amounts. Larger doses of sodium increase the risk of blood pressure becoming too high.
High levels of sodium in the body: Taking sodium increases levels of sodium in the body and might make this condition worse.
High blood pressure: Taking large amounts of sodium can increase blood pressure and might make this condition worse.
Didanosine (Videx)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Didanosine (Videx) contains sodium. Taking didanosine (Videx) along with sodium might cause sodium levels to become too high.
LithiumInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Changing sodium intake might affect how well the body gets rid of lithium. Increasing sodium intake might increase how much lithium is removed from the body. This might reduce the effects of lithium. On the other hand, reducing sodium intake might reduce how much lithium is removed from the body. This might increase adverse effects caused by lithium. People taking lithium should avoid drastically changing their intake of sodium without first talking with their doctor or pharmacist.
Medications for bowel cleansing (Sodium phosphates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Certain medications used for bowel cleansing before surgery might cause sodium levels to become too high. Taking sodium along with these medications might increase this risk. People should avoid using large amounts of sodium before receiving medications for bowel cleansing.
Some medications for bowel cleansing include monobasic sodium phosphate and dibasic sodium phosphate (Fleet Phospho-soda).
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Large amounts of sodium can increase blood pressure. By increasing blood pressure, sodium might decrease the effectiveness of medications for high blood pressure.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Medications that affect salt and water balances (Glucocorticoids, Mineralocorticoids)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Some medications affect salt and water balances in the body. These medications might increase levels of sodium. Taking these medications along with sodium might cause sodium levels to become too high.
Some medications that affect salt and water balances include hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone, Solu-Cortef), cortisone (Cortone), fludrocortisone (Florinef), prednisone (Deltasone), and prednisolone (Delta-Cortef).
Tolvaptan (Samsca)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Tolvaptan (Samsca) is a medicine used to increase sodium levels. Taking tolvaptan (Samsca) along with sodium might cause sodium levels to become too high.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
Sodium supplementation must be tailored for each person and based on the person's serum sodium level, which should be maintained at 130 mmol/L.
The normal adult daily requirement and usual dietary intake of sodium is 2.3 grams daily.
- For preventing kidney toxicity caused by amphotericin B: 150 mEq sodium chloride is given daily during treatment with amphotericin B.
- For treating low levels of sodium: the common starting dose of sodium is 100-150 mL of a solution containing 3% sodium chloride for 20 minutes and repeated until sodium levels increase by 4-6 mmol/L. After this increase occurs, a solution containing 0.9% sodium chloride is given until sodium levels increase by 10 mmol/L over the first 24 hours and by 8 mmol/L every 24 hours thereafter until sodium levels reach 130 mmol/L.
- For preventing kidney toxicity caused by amphotericin B: 150 mEq sodium chloride is given daily during treatment with amphotericin B.
- For treating cystic fibrosis: 10 mL of sodium chloride solution (3% to 7%) is inhaled using a nebulizer twice per day.
- For treating swelling of the sinuses: approximately 150-500 mL of nasal irrigation or nasal sprays containing 0.9% to 3% sodium chloride are used two to four times per day (26228).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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