What is sodium bicarbonate?

Sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Relief) is an alkalinizing agent (antacid) that reduces stomach acid. It is a commonly used antacid to treat heartburn, acid ingestion and upset stomach.

Is sodium bicarbonate available as a generic drug?

Yes.

Do I need a prescription for sodium bicarbonate?

No.

Why is sodium bicarbonate prescribed to patients?

Oral sodium bicarbonate is used for the temporary relief of occasional episodes of acid ingestion, heartburn, and upset stomach.

What are the side effects of sodium bicarbonate?

Known side effects include:

What is the dosage for sodium bicarbonate?

Oral antacid: 325 mg to 2 g 1-4 times per day.

Which drugs or supplements interact with sodium bicarbonate?

Sodium bicarbonate may increase the blood concentration of flecainide (Tambocor) by increasing the pH of urine, leading to less excretion of flecainide.

Sodium bicarbonate may decrease blood concentration of amphetamines, atazanavir (Reyataz), bisacodyl (Dulcolax), captopril (Capoten), dabigatran (Pradaxa), itraconazole (Sporanox) and many other drugs.

Acetazolamide (Diamox) may increase the risk of toxicity or adverse effects associated with sodium bicarbonate treatment.

QUESTION

GERD is the back up of stomach acid into the esophagus. See Answer

Is sodium bicarbonate safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

Sodium bicarbonate has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Sodium bicarbonate has the potential risk of causing metabolic alkalosis and fluid overload in pregnancy. Therefore, sodium bicarbonate containing antacids are considered unsafe in pregnancy.

Sodium bicarbonate enters breast milk. Other antacids such as calcium carbonate or magnesium hydroxide are generally preferred over sodium carbonate due to their wider safety margin.

What else should I know about sodium bicarbonate?

What preparations of sodium bicarbonate are available?

Effervescent granules for oral solution: 460 mg. Oral tablet: 325 and 650 mg

How should I keep sodium bicarbonate stored?

Store at room temperature 59 C - 86 C (15 F – 30 F).

How does sodium bicarbonate work?

Oral sodium bicarbonate provides rapid relief (within 15 minutes) of heartburn symptoms and should only be used to provide temporary relief of occasional episodes of stomach acid problems. Oral administration of sodium bicarbonate results in the neutralization of hydrochloric acid in the stomach (raises blood and urinary pH) and the formation of sodium chloride, carbon dioxide, and water.

Summary

Sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Relief) is a drug used to treat excess stomach acid and heartburn. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/8/2019
References
FDA Prescribing Information
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