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Sodium lactate sources, health risks

Friday, October 13, 2017 by

Sodium lactate is prescribed as an acute treatment for acidosis. It is given intravenously and never given undiluted. The solution is an effective electrolyte replenisher and systemic alkalizer. Sodium lactate is not intended to correct severe cases of acidosis and is used only for moderate acidotic states.

Even at its prescribed doses of USP 50 mEq (5 mEq/mL), there is a high risk of developing serious skin irritations and eye damage. The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) lists sodium lactate as a high hazard for skin corrosion. The hazard cautions the public that impurities, additives, and other factors in unregulated sodium lactate can increase the risk of skin damage to 98 percent.

Harmful effects that can be caused by sodium lactate

The solution can cause a severe allergic reaction in people. Patients are asked to immediately seek medical help if they begin to show signs of a rash, blister, or hive. Other symptoms to watch out for include: wheezing, tightness in the chest or throat, unusual hoarseness, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, and tongue, or tightness in the chest or throat.

More acute sodium lactate poisoning can induce conditions related to an electrolyte imbalance such as mood changes, muscle pain or weakness, irregular heartbeat, bad dizziness (to the point of passing out), excessive thirst, seizures, and being unable to pass urine.

Sodium lactate may also influence water balance in the body. Some patients may notice unusual weight gain or bloating. They may also begin to notice their arms or legs beginning to swell.

Body systems harmed by sodium lactate

Sodium lactate affects the entire body, if given incorrectly. Restricted oral intake should help the body restore bicarbonate levels rather quickly among patients suffering from acidosis, a disorder which reduces the perfusion of body tissues. Nevertheless, sodium lactate is almost never given to patients with congestive heart failure, severe renal insufficiency, or in a clinical state that causes sodium retention. Administered incorrectly, sodium lactate can harm renal function.

Where to learn more


Sodium lactate is used to replenish electrolyte loss in the body. However, improper use of it can result in skin irritation, bloating, and eye damage.

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