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Sodium bicarbonate is also known as baking soda. It belongsto the group of antacids and is most commonly used to relieve a sour stomach,acid indigestion and heartburn because it neutralizes excess stomach acid veryefficiently. It can also be used for certain other purposes such as treatmentof duodenal ulcers and various stomach illnesses. Sometimes it can be used tomake urine and blood more alkaline for certain purposes. It is generally recommendednot to give sodium bicarbonate to children under 6 years of age. This remedydoes not need a prescription to be purchased and used. Certain people may beallergic to sodium bicarbonate, so they should be careful before taking it.Sodium bicarbonate also poses some pediatric risks in infants and it may worsencertain underlying conditions.

Risks and side effects

Sodium bicarbonate is known for sometimes causingintravascular volume expansion which can result in hypoaldosteronemia andhyporeninemia. If this occurs, the serum potassium usually gets elevated.Baking soda can also be connected with certain symptoms of Munchausen syndromeas well as hypokalemic hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis but it usually occursvery rarely in some patients that have certain underlying conditions. Peoplewho suffer from severe liver disease, renal insufficiency or congestive heartfailure must be extremely precautious because baking soda can sometimes lead toedema, water retention and weight gain which get triggered by hypernatremia. Rapidor prolonged administration of sodium bicarbonate can sometimes inducehyernatremia, hypokalemia, hypochloremia, hyperosmolarity and metabolicalkalosis. Other metabolic side effects of baking soda includes hyporeninemia,hypoaldosteronemia and the expansion of intravascular volume.

Baking soda can suppress the respiratory drive because theconcentration of venous carbon dioxide gets increased. A worsened systemicacidosis can occur because there is no adequate ventilation provided. Amongother respiratory side effects, the suppressed respiratory drive is the mostsignificant of them all. Nervous system side effects of sodium bicarbonateincludes coma, tetany, irritability, mental stupor and intraventricularhemorrhage. The hemorrhage gets triggers by rapid infusion of sodium bicarbonate.

Tetany and irritability are usually due to the hypernatremia and alkalosisinduced by the baking soda. Mental stupor and coma are caused by a significantdecrease of the pH of cerebrospinal fluid during the administration of thesodium bicarbonate. This usually occurs because the blood-brain barrier is muchmore permeable to hydrogen than to bicarbonate.

Local side effects include extravasation, venous irritation,tissue necrosis, IV site pain, cellulitis, skin sloughing and ulceration. Themost significant cardiovascular side effect that may occur is decreasedcardiac contractility. Sodium bicarbonate can also cause gastric ruptures andexcess gas release.

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