Medically reviewed on December 4, 2017
What is sodium chloride inhalation?
Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt. Sodium chloride can reduce some types of bacteria in certain body secretions, such as saliva.
Sodium chloride inhalation is used to produce sputum (mucus, or phlegm) from the mouth to help improve lung function in people with cystic fibrosis, or to collect sputum for medical testing. This medication may also be used to dilute other medications inhaled through a nebulizer.
Sodium chloride inhalation may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before you use sodium chloride, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and allergies. Also make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. In some cases, you may not be able to use sodium chloride, or you may need to adjust your dose or take special precautions.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially potassium supplements, diuretics, steroids, blood pressure medications, or medications that contain sodium (such as Alka-Seltzer or Zegrid).
Tell your caregiver right away if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, swelling in your hands or feet, tiredness, muscle twitching, confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased or decreased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling, or if you feel like you might pass out.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to sodium chloride.
To make sure sodium chloride is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease or high blood pressure;
kidney or liver disease;
any type of edema (swelling);
if you have recently had surgery; or
if you are on a low-salt diet.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether sodium chloride inhalation is harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether sodium chloride passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is sodium chloride inhalation given?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Sodium chloride inhalation is given using a nebulizer. You will inhale the medication through a face mask, mouth piece, or other device connected to the nebulizer.
Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider can show you how to properly use the nebulizer.
Sodium chloride is a liquid that is placed into the medication chamber of the nebulizer. A mouthpiece or face mask is then attached to the drug chamber, along with an air compressor.
To prepare for inhaling sodium chloride through a nebulizer, you may be given another inhaled medication to prevent bronchospasm (muscle contractions within the airways of the lungs). Your doctor may also ask you to blow your nose, rinse your mouth with water, or wipe the inside of your mouth with a tissue. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully for best results.
In most cases, you will use this medication while you are sitting upright in a comfortable position. Breathe slowly and evenly while you are using the mask, mouthpiece, or other breathing device. You may also be given a nose clip to wear that will close your nasal passages so that you inhale only through your mouth.
If you are using this medication as part of a sputum test, you will need to spit about every 5 minutes or as directed by your healthcare provider. Cough deeply from your chest to produce an optimal specimen for testing.
Continue breathing through the nebulizer for as long as directed by your doctor. Once you have completed the inhalation for the prescribed amount of time, throw away any liquid that is left in the medicine chamber. Do not save it for later use.
If you store sodium chloride at home, keep it at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since sodium chloride inhalation is sometimes used only as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using sodium chloride inhalation?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Sodium chloride inhalation side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregiver right away if you have:
chest pain, trouble breathing;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
swelling in your hands or feet;
tiredness, muscle twitching;
confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased or decreased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling.
Other common side effects may include a salty taste or slight burning or irritation in your mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect sodium chloride inhalation?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with sodium chloride, especially:
a diuretic or "water pill";
blood pressure medication; or
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with sodium chloride, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02.
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