Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium Bicarbonate

Last updated on 19/03/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions   |   Tips   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Sodium Bicarbonate 

CHINESE NAME: 碳酸氫鈉

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Gaviscon 嘉胃斯康 (Contains Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Alginate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Harex Gripe Mixture (Contains only Sodium Bicarbonate), Antacimin (Contains only Sodium Bicarbonate) 

DRUG CLASS: Antacid; Alkalinizing agent 

USED FOR: Indigestion, heartburn, infantile colic, metabolic acidosis, urine alkalinization

OTHER DRUGS IN THE SAME CLASS: Aluminium Hydroxide, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Trisilicate

What is Sodium Bicarbonate for?

Sodium Bicarbonate is commonly known as baking soda. It has a wide variety of uses due to its alkaline property. It can alkalise your urine, as well as alkalise your blood in order to treat metabolic acidosis. It can also be used as an antacid to neutralise your stomach acid and hence relieve symptoms like indigestion and heartburn. It is one of the main ingredients in gripe water, which is often used for infant colic.

How to use it?

Sodium Bicarbonate can be taken by mouth or given by injection in hospitals. 

If you are using it for urine alkalinisation, you can dissolve Sodium Bicarbonate in water and take 3 g every 2 hours by mouth until the urinary becomes alkaline (pH >7). For maintaining urine alkaline, you can take 5-10 g daily. 

If you are using it for chronic acidotic states like uraemic acidosis or renal tubular acidosis, you may take 4.8 g daily by mouth and the doses are adjusted according to your response. 

If you are using it for indigestion, you may dissolve Sodium Bicarbonate in water and take 1-5 g by mouth if necessary.

What are the side effects of Sodium Bicarbonate?

Common side effects of Sodium Bicarbonate include nausea and bloating.

Who should not take Sodium Bicarbonate?

– People allergic to Sodium Bicarbonate or other ingredients of the formulation
– People with a high blood levels of sodium, or a low blood levels of calcium
– People having abdominal pain without any known cause
– Children who are on a low salt diet

Pharmacist Tips:

– Chew thoroughly the tablet before swallowing if it is a chewable preparation.
– You should not take antacids for more than 4 weeks. See a doctor if your symptoms do not go away.
– Adopt a proper eating habit, and avoid food that is irritating and difficult to digest. 

Common dosing schedule:
You should take Sodium Bicarbonate 1 to 3 hours after meals or at bedtime. 

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Sodium Bicarbonate may interact with:
Bisacodyl 
Cefuroxime 
Chloroquine 
– Oral corticosteroids, e.g. Betamethasone, Prednisolone
Lithium 
– Multivitamins or minerals, including Folic Acid and Iron 
Phosphate supplements 

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Sodium Bicarbonate in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, many types of Sodium Bicarbonate are over-the-counter medicines and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. They can also be obtained from doctors. The injection forms of Sodium Bicarbonate are prescription only medicines and require a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. They can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Sodium Bicarbonate in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.