October 22, 2014
Effervescent Meds and Sodium
Wellness Tip

Effervescent Meds and Sodium

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

If you regularly take soluble effervescent medication, such as Alka-Seltzer and some prescription drugs, you may be getting so much sodium that it can endanger your health, suggests a recent study in the journal BMJ, which examined the medical records of more than a million Britons over a seven-year period.

Those taking such sodium-containing drugs were seven times more likely to have hypertension than people taking the nonsodium versions of the same drugs; they were also more likely to have a stroke or die from any cause. These medications by themselves contain almost enough sodium to put you over the recommended daily limit (1,500 to 2,300 milligrams).

For instance, two tablets of Alka-Seltzer (basically aspirin plus sodium bicarbonate) have 1,134 milligrams of sodium. Unlike foods, medication doesn’t have its sodium content labeled. If you take such soluble medication, check with your health care provider or pharmacist about its sodium content; if it is high, ask if there are alternatives.