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Baking soda overdose

Baking soda is a cooking product that helps batter to rise. This article discusses the effects of swallowing a large amount of baking soda.

Soda loading refers to drinking baking soda. Some athletes and coaches believe that drinking baking soda prior to competition helps a person perform for longer periods of time. This is extremely dangerous, and in addition to side effects, it actually makes the athletes unable to perform.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

See also: Baking powder overdose

Alternative Names

Soda loading

Poisonous Ingredient

Sodium bicarbonate

Where Found

Baking soda

Symptoms

Home Treatment

Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to expect at the emergency room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The patient may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Breathing support
  • Fluids by IV
  • Laxative
  • Medicines to treat symptoms

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Amount of baking soda swallowed
  • Time to treatment
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Overall health
  • Type of complications that develop

Updated: 8/3/2011

Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.


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