Medicines

Sodium chloride for hyponatraemia

This leaflet is for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information may differ from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information usually relates to adults. Read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.

Name of medicine

Sodium chloride

Brand name: Slow Sodium

Why is it important for my child to take Sodium chloride?

Sodium is needed so that many parts of the body, including muscles and nerves can work properly. Hyponatraemia means that the levels of sodium in the blood are too low. Taking sodium chloride replaces the missing sodium and helps muscles and nerves to work properly.

What is Sodium chloride available as?

  • Tablets: 600 mg (10 mmol of each sodium and chloride)
  • Capsules can be ordered specially from your pharmacist
  • Liquid medicine can be ordered specially from your pharmacist

When should I give Sodium chloride

  • Sodium chloride is usually given twice each day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Ideally, these times are 10–12 hours apart, for example some time between 7 and 8 am, and between 7 and 8 pm.
  • Your doctor may want you to give sodium chloride to your child more often than this – they will explain what to do.
  • For premature babies, sodium chloride may be given with every feed. Your doctor will explain what to do.

Give the medicine at about the same times each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of Sodium chloride (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.

How should I give Sodium chloride?

Tablets

  • Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, squash or juice. Your child should not chew the tablets.
  • You can crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey, or mashed potato. Make sure your child swallows it straight away, without chewing.

Capsules

  • Capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Your child should not chew the capsule. You can open the capsule and mix the contents into a teaspoonful of soft food (e.g. honey or jam). Make sure your child swallows it straight away, without chewing.

Liquid medicine

  • Shake the medicine well. Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or a medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.

When should the medicine start working?

The medicine will start working straight away, although you will not see any difference in your child.

What if my child is sick (vomits)?

  • If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of Sodium chloride, give them the same dose again.
  • If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of Sodium chloride, do not give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.

If your child is sick again, seek advice from your family doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital. They will decide what to do based on your child’s condition and the specific medicine involved.

What if I forget to give it?

Sodium chloride should be given twice each day. If you remember up to 6 hours after you should have given a dose, give your child the missed dose. For example, if you usually give a dose at about 7am, you can give the missed dose at any time up to 1pm. If you remember after that time, do not give the missed dose. Just give the next dose as usual.

If you miss a dose, wait until the next normal dose. Do not give the missed dose.

What if I give too much?

If you think you may have given your child too much Sodium chloride, contact your doctor or local NHS services (details at end of leaflet). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.

Are there any possible side effects?

We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).

Sodium chloride does not usually cause any unwanted effects (side-effects).

Side effects you must do something about

If your child becomes short of breath, and their face becomes puffy, contact your doctor straight away, as the amount of sodium may be too high. Do not give your child any more Sodium chloride until your doctor tells you to do so.

There may sometimes be other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side effects to a UK safety scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

Can other medicines be given at the same time as Sodium chloride?

  • You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal and complementary medicines.

Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?

Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to check the level of acid in your child’s body and whether the dose of Sodium chloride is right.

General advice about medicines

  • Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
  • If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor for advice.
  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
  • Make sure that the medicines you have at home have not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

General advice about antibiotics

  • If you are not sure a medicine is working, contact your doctor but continue to give the medicine as usual in the meantime. Do not give extra doses as you may do harm.
  • Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
  • If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.
  • Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
  • Make sure that the medicine you have at home has not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.

Where should I keep this medicine?

  • Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight.
  • You may need to keep liquid medicine in the fridge – check the instructions on the bottle. Make sure the medicine does not freeze.
  • Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
  • Keep the medicine in the container it came in.

Who to contact for more information?

England: NHS 111

Tel 111

www.nhs.uk

Scotland: NHS 24

Northern Ireland: NI Direct

Wales: NHS Direct

Tel 111 (free) or 0845 46 47 (2p per minute)

111.wales.nhs.uk/

Copyright disclaimer

Version [2]. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild, all rights reserved. Review by January 2017.

The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk.

We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.