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Generic Name: tromethamine (troe METH a meen)
Brand Name: Tham

What is Tham (tromethamine)?

Tromethamine affects the balance of water and electrolytes in the body.

Tromethamine is used to treat metabolic acidosis (an electrolyte imbalance). Metabolic acidosis can have many causes. It often occurs after heart bypass surgery or cardiac arrest.

Tromethamine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Tham (tromethamine)?

You should not receive tromethamine if you have uremia (urea circulating in your blood), or if you are unable to urinate (such as due to kidney failure).

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving Tham (tromethamine)?

You should not receive tromethamine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • uremia (urea circulating in your blood); or

  • if you are unable to urinate.

If possible, before you receive tromethamine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • congestive heart failure; or

  • asthma or other breathing problems.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tromethamine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether tromethamine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In an emergency situation it may not be possible to tell your caregivers if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows you have received this medicine.

How is Tham (tromethamine)given?

Tromethamine is injected into a muscle, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Tromethamine is often given for only a short period of time, such as one day. The length of your treatment will depend on how your body responds to this medicine.

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when tromethamine is injected.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood and heart function will need to be checked throughout your treatment.

After treatment with tromethamine, you will be closely watched and tested to make sure the medicine has been effective and you no longer have any effects of metabolic acidosis.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive tromethamine in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

Overdose symptoms may include fast heart rate, swelling, trouble breathing, confusion, sweating, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid after receiving Tham (tromethamine)?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Tham (tromethamine) 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 caregivers right away if you have:

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or

  • headache, hunger, weakness, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever;

  • swelling;

  • feeling short of breath; or

  • bruising or swelling around the IV needle.

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 Tham (tromethamine)?

Other drugs may interact with tromethamine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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.

Date modified: July 24, 2017
Last reviewed: July 22, 2014