Generic Name: tromethamine (troe METH a meen)
Brand Name: Tham
What is 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 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 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:
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 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 tromethamine?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
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:
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)
Tromethamine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Metabolic Acidosis:
Associated with Cardiac Bypass Surgery:
Initial dose: 500 mL (150 mEq) by slow intravenous infusion is considered adequate for most adults; up to 1000 mL may be required in severe cases
Maximum dose: 500 mg/kg (227 mg/lb) over a period of not less than one hour
Associated with Cardiac Arrest:
If the chest is open: 2 to 6 g (62 to 185 mL of a 0.3 M solution) injected into the ventricular cavity
If the chest is not open: 3.6 to 10.8 g (111 to 333 mL of a 0.3 M solution) injected into a larger peripheral vein if the chest is not open
Comment: Do not inject into the cardiac muscle
Usual Pediatric Dose for Metabolic Acidosis:
Associated with RDS in Neonates and Infants:
1 mL/kg for each pH unit below 7.4
What other drugs will affect 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.
More about tromethamine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 0 Reviews – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: minerals and electrolytes
Other brands: Tham
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about tromethamine.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01.
Date modified: June 01, 2017
Last reviewed: July 22, 2014