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?


Do I need a prescription for sodium bicarbonate?


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.

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.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/8/2019


FDA Prescribing Information