sodium citrate and citric acid

sodium citrate and citric acid

(soe-dee-um sye-trate and sit-rik as-id) ,


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Shohl’s Solution modified

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Therapeutic: antiurolithics
Pharmacologic: alkalinizing agents
Pregnancy Category: C


Management of chronic metabolic acidosis associated with chronic renal insufficiency or renal tubular acidosis.Alkalinization of urine.Prevention of cystine and urate urinary calculi.Prevention of aspiration pneumonitis during surgical procedures.Used as a neutralizing buffer.


Converted to bicarbonate in the body, resulting in increased blood pH.
As bicarbonate is renally excreted, urine is also alkalinized, increasing the solubility of cystine and uric acid.
Neutralizes gastric acid.

Therapeutic effects

Provision of bicarbonate in metabolic acidosis.
Alkalinization of the urine.
Prevention of cystine and urate urinary calculi.
Prevention of aspiration pneumonitis.


Absorption: Well absorbed following oral administration.
Distribution: Rapidly and widely distributed.
Metabolism and Excretion: Rapidly oxidized to bicarbonate, which is excreted primarily by the kidneys. Small amounts (<5%) excreted unchanged by the lungs.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile (effects on serum pH)

POrapid (min–hr)unknown4–6 hr


Contraindicated in: Severe renal insufficiency;Severe sodium restriction;HF, untreated hypertension, edema, or toxemia of pregnancy.
Use Cautiously in: Obstetric / Lactation: Safety not established.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • diarrhea

Fluid and Electrolyte

  • fluid overload
  • hypernatremia (severe renal impairment)
  • hypocalcemia
  • metabolic alkalosis (large doses only)


  • tetany


Drug-Drug interaction

May partially antagonize the effects of antihypertensives.Urinary alkalinization may result in ↓ salicylate or barbiturate levels or ↑ levels of quinidine, flecainide, or amphetamines.


Adjust dosage according to urine pH. Contains 1 mEq sodium and 1 mEq bicarbonate/mL solutionAlkalinizer
Oral (Adults) 10–30 mL solution diluted in water 4 times daily.
Oral (Children) 5–15 mL solution diluted in water 4 times daily.
Oral (Adults) 10–30 mL solution diluted in water 4 times daily.
Neutralizing Buffer
Oral (Adults) 15–30 mL solution diluted in 15–30 mL of water.


Oral solution: 500 mg sodium citrate/334 mg citric acid/5 mL (Bicitra, PMS-Dicitrate), 490 mg sodium citrate/640 mg citric acid/5 mL (Oracit)

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess patient for signs of alkalosis (confusion, irritability, paresthesia, tetany, altered breathing pattern) or hypernatremia (edema, weight gain, hypertension, tachycardia, fever, flushed skin, mental irritability) throughout therapy.
  • Monitor patients with renal dysfunction for fluid overload (discrepancy in intake and output, weight gain, edema, rales/crackles, and hypertension).
  • Lab Test Considerations: Prior to and every 4 mo throughout chronic therapy, monitor hematocrit, hemoglobin, electrolytes, pH, creatinine, urinalysis, and 24-hr urine for citrate.
    • Monitor urine pH if used to alkalinize urine.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)


  • Oral: Solution is more palatable if chilled. Administer with 30–90 mL of chilled water. Administer 30 min after meals or as bedtime snack to minimize saline laxative effect.
    • When used as preanesthetic, administer 15–30 mL of sodium citrate with 15–30 mL of chilled water.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take as directed. Missed doses should be taken within 2 hr. Do not double doses.
  • Instruct patients receiving chronic sodium citrate on correct method of monitoring urine pH, maintenance of alkaline urine, and the need to increase fluid intake to 3000 mL/day. When treatment is discontinued, pH begins to fall toward pretreatment levels.
  • Advise patients receiving long-term therapy on need to avoid salty foods.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Correction of metabolic acidosis.
  • Maintenance of alkaline urine with resulting decreased stone formation.
  • Buffering the pH of gastric secretions, thereby preventing aspiration pneumonitis associated with intubation and anesthesia.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners