Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for kidney stones


Sodium bicarbonate is commonly known as baking soda.

How It Works

Sodium bicarbonate makes the urine less acidic, which makes uric acid kidney stone formation less likely.

Why It Is Used

Sodium bicarbonate may be used if you have had uric acid stones because you have too much acid in your urine.

How Well It Works

Sodium bicarbonate can prevent the formation of uric acid kidney stones and can help dissolve existing uric acid stones.

Side Effects

The side effects of sodium bicarbonate include:

  • A possible increase in the risk of forming calcium kidney stones.
  • An increase in the amount of sodium in the blood.
  • Fluid retention (edema), especially in people with high blood pressure, heart failure, or liver disease (cirrhosis) or in older adults.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

You will have to check the acid level of your urine (pH) to keep the pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Kidney stones are more likely to form if the urine has a pH much lower than 6.0 or higher than 7.0.

Sodium bicarbonate has more side effects than potassium citrate, which is also used to prevent uric acid kidney stones.

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Last Updated: May 4, 2009

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