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CARBONATES > Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder.

Boiling point: 851 °C, Formula: NaHCO3, Density: 2.20 g/cm³, IUPAC ID: Sodium hydrogen carbonate, Molar mass: 84.007 g/mol, Soluble in: Water

Medical uses :

Sodium bicarbonate mixed with water can be used as an antacid to treat acid indigestion and heartburn. It is used as the medicinal ingredient in gripe water for infants.

Intravenous sodium bicarbonate is an aqueous solution that is sometimes used for cases of acidosis, or when there are insufficient sodium or bicarbonate ions in the blood. In cases of respiratory acidosis, the infused bicarbonate ion drives the carbonic acid/bicarbonate buffer of plasma to the left and, thus, raises the pH. It is for this reason that sodium bicarbonate is used in medically supervised cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Infusion of bicarbonate is indicated only when the blood pH is markedly (<7.1–7.0) low.

Oral sodium bicarbonate has been shown to slow progression to end stage renal disease in individuals with stage 4 chronic kidney disease and metabolic acidosis (plasma sodium bicarbonate levels 16-20meq/L).

It is used as well for treatment of hyperkalemia. Since sodium bicarbonate can cause alkalosis, it is sometimes used to treat aspirin overdoses. Aspirin requires an acidic environment for proper absorption, and the basic environment diminishes aspirin absorption in the case of an overdose. Sodium bicarbonate has also been used in the treatment of tricyclic antidepressant overdose. It can also be applied topically as a paste, with three parts baking soda to one part water, to relieve some kinds of insect bites and stings (as well as accompanying swelling).

Adverse reactions to the administration of sodium bicarbonate can include metabolic alkalosis, edema due to sodium overload, congestive heart failure, hyperosmolar syndrome, hypervolemic hypernatremia, and hypertension due to increased sodium. In patients consuming a high-calcium or dairy-rich diet, calcium supplements, or calcium-containing antacids such as calcium carbonate (e.g., Tums), the use of sodium bicarbonate can cause milk-alkali syndrome, which can result in metastatic calcification, kidney stones, and kidney failure.

Sodium bicarbonate can be used to treat an allergic reaction to plants such as poison -ivy -oak or -sumac to relieve some of the associated itching.

Bicarbonate of soda can also be useful in removing splinters from the skin.

Some alternative practitioners have promoted baking soda as a cancer cure, which the American Cancer Society has warned against due to both its unproven effectiveness and potential danger in use.