What Can Sodium Lactate Do to Your Body?

Respiratory and metabolic disorders occur when the body's acid-base is out of balance. One of the treatments for an acid-base imbalance involves intravenously injecting the alkalizing agent sodium lactate to restore acid balance and electrolytes to the body. Sodium lactate is a natural salt derived from lactic acid, according to Yao-wen Huang of the University of Georgia. Sodium lactate also removes drugs from the body after an overdose. Medical professionals monitor patients receiving sodium lactate because adverse side effects are common.

A nurse is administering an IV. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Metabolic Acidosis

Metabolic acidosis is a disorder that causes your body to lose bicarbonate, increasing your system's acid-base. Sodium lactate injections treat mild to moderate cases of metabolic acidosis. Sodium lactate combines with the bicarbonate that your body produces from carbon dioxide, neutralizing the acid in your body and keeping it within a normal range.

Side Effects

Sodium lactate can cause mild to severe reactions to your body. Some patients experience chest pain, wheezing, inability to focus, muscle cramps, tremors, swelling of the face or throat or inflammation at the intravenous site. An increase in blood pressure is also a possible reaction to sodium lactate. If any of these symptoms occur when you receive sodium lactate, contact your physician immediately because the symptoms could worsen.


Tell your doctor about any other medications you take before receiving sodium lactate treatment. Sodium lactate could interact with other drugs, causing adverse reactions in your body. Known medications that interfere with sodium lactate or cause harmful side effects are aspirin, tetracycline, decongestants such as ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, some drugs used to treat diabetes and antidepressant drugs.

Other Uses

Many food manufacturers add sodium lactate to their products because the salt acts as a preservative, preventing bacteria and fungi from growing. It is also used by the cosmetic industry as a water retainer in lip balm, facial cream, soap, shampoo, body lotion and eye drops. Sodium lactate absorbed through food consumption does not have any side effects in adults. It is not recommended for infants or young children.

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