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Sodium Citrate



Sodium citrate is used to treat gout (inflammation of joint caused by defective metabolism of uric acid), acidosis (increase of acid in the blood caused by kidney disease) and cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder) in women, kidney stones and constipation. It is also used in combination with other drugs as a preservative for the human liver, kidney and pancreas before organ transplantation. It is also a component of the ‘WHO Oral Rehydration Solution’ used for diarrhea.

How it works

Sodium citrate is a salt and belongs to class of medications called as urinary alkalinizers. It neutralizes excess acid in the blood and urine thereby relieving the associated symptoms. 

Common side effects

Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain, Gastrointestinal discomfort, Vomiting, Nausea


Expert advice

  • Do not use sodium citrate enema excessively as long term use of this medicine may lead to diarrhea and fluid loss.
  • Sodium citrate should be taken after meals to prevent stomach or intestinal side effects.
  • Do not take if you are allergic to sodium citrate or any of its ingredients.
  • Do not give to patients with diabetes, heart or kidney disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), sugar intolerance (as this medicine contains sucrose), Addison's disease (insufficient amounts of steroid hormones), aluminium toxicity or patients on a low salt (sodium) diet.
  • Do not give to patients with inflammatory digestive tract or bowel diseases (e.g. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis).
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Do not give to Children under 3 years.

Frequently asked questions

Sodium Citrate

Q. Is sodium citrate ionic, covalent, or dissolve in water?
Sodium citrate is an ionic compound and dissolves in water. It does not contain covalent bonds.

Is sodium citrate a preservative, vegan or natural compound?
Yes, sodium citrate is a vegan compound used as a preservative.

Can I take sodium citrate with antibiotics?
No, avoid taking any two medications together and keep a gap of at least 1 hour between two drugs.

Q. Does sodium citrate cause diarrhea?
Yes, long term use of sodium citrate can cause diarrhea.

Q. Does sodium citrate cure cystitis and cancer?
Sodium citrate is used to treat cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder) in women. It is not known to cause cancer.

Does sodium citrate contain gluten?
No, sodium citrate does not contain gluten.

Q. Does sodium citrate bind calcium and have iodine in its structure?
No, sodium citrate does not contain iodine but it binds to the calcium in the blood and reduces blood clotting.

Is sodium citrate the same as citric acid?
Sodium citrate is an acid salt of citric acid.

Is sodium citrate safe?
Sodium citrate is relatively safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)