Major Uses

Sodium bicarbonate is often used to treat respiratory acidosis resulting from carbon dioxide retention and metabolic acidosis resulting from acid metabolite accumulation. It may also be used to treat acid indigestion and other conditions by neutralizing excess acid in the stomach. It is a type of antacid and may be used to increase the alkalinity of the blood and urine and for other purposes.

Sodium bicarbonate is for use in a variety of animals, including dogs, horses, swine, cattle, and cats.

Common Precautions

Sodium bicarbonate does not usually cause side effects with proper use. Excessive use of IV sodium bicarbonate may cause hypernatremia, metabolic alkalosis, congestive heart failure, electrolyte imbalances, and other adverse effects. The drug should not be used in cases of alkalosis, congestive heart failure, or convulsions.

Sodium bicarbonate is known to interact with certain other drugs and supplements. It is important to disclose all supplements and medications currently being taken before beginning treatment with this or any other drug.

Sodium bicarbonate should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. Any known or suspected overdose should be reported to a veterinarian right away.


Sodium bicarbonate should be stored in its original packaging, out of the reach of children and animals, and at room temperature. It should be kept away from heat sources.


Sodium bicarbonate is available in 100 ml single-dose vials and 500 ml single-dose vials. A typical average dose of sodium bicarbonate is 1 ml/lb of body weight administered intravenously slowly and with extreme caution.

Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.

If a dose of sodium bicarbonate is missed, it should be administered as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, the missed dose should be skipped and the normal schedule resumed. Two doses of this medication should not be given at once.

This information is for general reference only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition of your pet. It's intended as a general reference, this information may not include all possible uses, precautions, directions, reactions (including allergic), drug interactions, or withdrawal times. Always consult your local veterinarian and have your pet examined for any advice concerning the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, including which products and doses are most appropriate. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners. VetDepot is not a pharmacy. All prescription products are dispensed by our Pharmacy Partner. Article last updated 2/2014.