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First Aid for Baking Soda Overdose

Last updated March 3, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Baking Soda Overdose is the accidental or intentional intake of a product containing baking soda in dosage higher than prescribed/recommended values.

What is Baking Soda Overdose?

  • Baking soda is white powdery substance that is primarily used for cooking and cleaning purposes. It is chemically known as sodium bicarbonate and has a variety of other applications
  • Baking soda is used for baking breads and cakes. Along with water, it is taken as an antacid for stomach indigestion. It is also used as a mild disinfectant, for pest control, removal of paint, and in fire extinguishers
  • Baking Soda Overdose is the accidental or intentional intake of a product containing baking soda in dosage higher than prescribed/recommended values
  • The condition is diagnosed based upon the clinical history, combination of signs and symptoms, and additional tests (that may include, in some cases, radiological studies and laboratory tests)

Baking Soda Overdose may be also referred to variously as the following:

  • Bicarbonate of Soda Overdose
  • Bread Soda Overdose (Baking Soda Overdose)
  • Cooking Soda Overdose (Baking Soda Overdose)
  • Soda Loading
  • Sodium Bicarb Overdose
  • Sodium Bicarbonate Overdose

What are the Causes of Baking Soda Overdose?

  • Baking Soda Overdose is caused by the intake of baking soda or baking soda containing product in quantities that is higher than the recommended value
  • This intake could be accidental, or in some cases intentional, to bring self-harm

Note: The compound can interact with other prescribed or non-prescribed medications in the body. Such interactions may enhance the therapeutic effects of the drug or other medications being taken, resulting in undesired side effects (such as an overdose).

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Baking Soda Overdose?

The signs and symptoms of Baking Soda Overdose can vary from one individual to another. It may be mild in some and severe in others. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased urination rate
  • Bloating of stomach (feeling full)
  • Weakness of muscles; muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

How is First Aid administered for Baking Soda Overdose?

First Aid tips for Baking Soda Overdose:

  • If the individual with Baking Soda Overdose is experiencing life-threatening symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency help number) immediately
  • Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or your local poison control center) for further instructions
  • Provide them with information such as the compound taken, quantity and time of ingestion, age, weight and general health status of affected individual
  • Confirm that the airways are protected; also, ensure breathing and the presence of pulse
  • Unless instructed by a healthcare professional, DO NOT induce vomiting in the affected individual
  • Take individual to emergency room (ER) for further treatment
  • Always try to take the product bottle/container to the ER

The emergency medical health professional might perform the following steps towards treating the condition:

  • Medically manage symptoms
  • Administer activated charcoal to avoid absorbance of the compound in the body
  • Administer fluids by an intravenous drip line

Who should administer First Aid for Baking Soda Overdose?

First aid for Baking Soda Overdose is administered by healthcare professionals.

  • The individual who overdosed, or someone near, should call 911 for emergency assistance (or the local emergency number)
  • They should also call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow instructions

What is the Prognosis of Baking Soda Overdose?

  • The prognosis of Baking Soda Overdose is dependent on the amount of substance consumed, time between overdose and treatment, severity of the symptoms, as well as general health status of the patient
  • Since baking soda is not generally considered to be a toxic substance, the prognosis is generally good, with adequate and timely treatment
  • However, sometimes, loss of fluid from the body due to severe vomiting or diarrhea may lead to loss of vital electrolytes, dehydration, and weaknesses, which may prolong recovery time. This can also result in abnormal heart rhythms and shock

In general, overdoses are common situations in the emergency departments. A majority of the cases are often not fatal, when appropriate treatment is given.

How can Baking Soda Overdose be Prevented?

Baking Soda Overdose can be prevented by:

  • Keeping cosmetics, medications, and other healthcare products out of reach of children in child-proof containers
  • Keeping poisonous/hazardous chemicals and other materials out of children’s reach
  • Wearing appropriate protective wear when working with such chemicals
  • Keep all poisons correctly labeled and in suitable storage locations
  • Being aware of basic first aid steps in case of an emergency (such as inadvertent poisoning)

It is important to give your healthcare provider a complete list of prescription and non-prescription medications that are being currently taken. This will help them in assessing the possible drug interactions within various medications and help avoid/prevent accidental or unintentional toxic drug effects.

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Call 911 (or your local emergency number) for emergency assistance, if symptoms are life-threatening
  • Call Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 (or the local poison control center) and follow the recommend steps
  • It would be helpful if the following information is readily available:
    • Type, dosage and time of administration of medication
    • Age and weight of the individual
    • And, the overall health status of the individual

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 29, 2017
Last updated: March 3, 2018