Sodium Citrate and Citric Acid
Medically reviewed on March 25, 2018
(SOW dee um SIT rate & SI trik AS id)
- Citric Acid and Sodium Citrate
- Modified Shohl's Solution
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product
Cytra-2: Sodium citrate 500 mg and citric acid 334 mg per 5 mL (480 mL) [alcohol free, dye free, sugar free; contains propylene glycol and sodium benzoate; grape flavor]
Oracit®: Sodium citrate 490 mg and citric acid 640 mg per 5 mL (15 mL, 30 mL, 500 mL)
Shohl's Solution (Modified): Sodium citrate 500 mg and citric acid 300 mg per 5 mL (480 mL) [contains alcohol]
Virtrate-2: Sodium citrate 500 mg and citric acid 334 mg per 5 mL (480 mL [DSC]) [sugar free; contains propylene glycol and sodium benzoate; grape flavor]
Generic: Sodium citrate 500 mg and citric acid 334 mg per 5 mL (30 mL, 480 mL)
Brand Names: U.S.
- Shohl's Solution (Modified)
- Virtrate-2 [DSC]
- Alkalinizing Agent, Oral
≥95% via hepatic oxidation to bicarbonate; may be impaired in patients with hepatic failure, shock, or severe illness
Urine (<5% as sodium citrate)
Use: Labeled Indications
Acidosis: Treatment of metabolic acidosis or acidosis in certain renal tubular disorders.
Gastric acid buffer: Buffer agent to neutralize gastric acidity.
Systemic alkalinizer: Alkalinizing agent in conditions where long-term maintenance of alkaline urine is desirable.
Hypersensitivity to sodium citrate, citric acid, or any component of the formulation; severe renal impairment; oliguria; azotemia; untreated Addison disease; adynamia episodica hereditaria; acute dehydration; heat cramp; anuria; severe myocardial damage; hyperkalemia; sodium-restricted diet.
Acidosis or systemic alkalization: Oral: 10 to 30 mL 4 times daily
Gastric acid buffer: Oral: 15 mL as a single dose
Refer to adult dosing.
Acidosis or systemic alkalization:
Manufacturer's recommendation: Children ≥2 years and Adolescents: Oral: 5 to 15 mL 4 times daily
Alternative dosing: Note: 1 mL of oral solution contains bicarbonate 1 mEq:
Infants and Children (off-label dosing): Oral: Bicarbonate 2 to 3 mEq/kg/day in 3 to 4 divided doses (Kliegman 2007)
Gastric acid buffer: Children and Adolescents: Oral: Refer to adult dosing.
Dosing: Renal Impairment
There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling; use is contraindicated in patients with anuria, severe renal impairment, oliguria, or azotemia.
Dosing: Hepatic Impairment
There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling; use with caution.
Shake well. Chill solution prior to administration to enhance palatability.
Acidosis or systemic alkalization: Dilute dose with 30 to 90 mL of water.
Gastric acid buffer: Dilute dose with 15 mL of water.
Administer after meals. When used for acidosis/systemic alkalinization, administer after meals and at bedtime.
Take after meals to minimize laxative effect.
Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions permitted to 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F); do not freeze.
Alpha-/Beta-Agonists (Indirect-Acting): Alkalinizing Agents may increase the serum concentration of Alpha-/Beta-Agonists (Indirect-Acting). Monitor therapy
Aluminum Hydroxide: Citric Acid Derivatives may increase the absorption of Aluminum Hydroxide. Monitor therapy
Amantadine: Alkalinizing Agents may increase the serum concentration of Amantadine. Monitor therapy
Amphetamines: Alkalinizing Agents may decrease the excretion of Amphetamines. Consider therapy modification
Mecamylamine: Alkalinizing Agents may increase the serum concentration of Mecamylamine. Monitor therapy
Memantine: Alkalinizing Agents may increase the serum concentration of Memantine. Monitor therapy
QuiNINE: Alkalinizing Agents may increase the serum concentration of QuiNINE. Monitor therapy
Frequency not defined. Generally well tolerated with normal renal function.
Central nervous system: Tetany
Endocrine & metabolic: Metabolic alkalosis
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
• Cardiovascular disease: Use with caution in patients with heart failure or hypertension; contains sodium.
• Edema: Use with caution in patients with peripheral or pulmonary edema; contains sodium.
• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic failure; conversion to bicarbonate may be impaired.
• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment; contains sodium. Contraindicated in patients with severe impairment, oliguria, azotemia or anuria.
• Severely ill: Use with caution in patients who are severely ill; conversion to bicarbonate may be impaired.
• Shock: Use with caution in patients who are in shock; conversion to bicarbonate may be impaired.
Concurrent drug therapy issues:
• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.
Dosage form specific issues:
• Benzyl alcohol and derivatives: Some dosage forms may contain sodium benzoate/benzoic acid; benzoic acid (benzoate) is a metabolite of benzyl alcohol; large amounts of benzyl alcohol (≥99 mg/kg/day) have been associated with a potentially fatal toxicity (“gasping syndrome”) in neonates; the “gasping syndrome” consists of metabolic acidosis, respiratory distress, gasping respirations, CNS dysfunction (including convulsions, intracranial hemorrhage), hypotension, and cardiovascular collapse (AAP ["Inactive" 1997]; CDC, 1982); some data suggests that benzoate displaces bilirubin from protein binding sites (Ahlfors, 2001); avoid or use dosage forms containing benzyl alcohol derivative with caution in neonates. See manufacturer’s labeling.
• Propylene glycol: Some dosage forms may contain propylene glycol; large amounts are potentially toxic and have been associated hyperosmolality, lactic acidosis, seizures, and respiratory depression; use caution (AAP, 1997; Zar, 2007).
• Administration: Dilute with water to minimize GI injury; administer after meals to minimize saline laxative effect.
Serum creatinine, BUN, LFTs, serum bicarbonate and urinary pH at baseline and as clinically indicated during therapy; periodic serum electrolytes (especially bicarbonate) in patients with renal disease.
Use caution with toxemia of pregnancy.
• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)
• Patient may experience diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting (HCAHPS).
• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.
Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about citric acid/sodium citrate
- Citric acid/sodium citrate Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 1 Review – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: minerals and electrolytes
Other brands: Oracit