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Sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound (formula NaHCO3) which is fairly alkaline. The body naturally produces this chemical and releases it in bile to help neutralize stomach acid. In medicine, it is commonly used as an orally ingested antacid, in the treatment of different forms of acidosis, to treat overdoses of aspirin and to treat kidney stones comprised of uric acid. It can also be used in first aid to treat a burn.
Care must be taken when administering sodium bicarbonate, because if it is administered in too high a dose, alkalosis can result. It can also raise sodium levels outside of normal range. It also reacts poorly with dietary calcium.
Sodium bicarbonate is not a pharmaceutically controlled substance and is commonly sold in grocery stores as a leavening agent for quickbreads such as muffins and biscuits (baking soda).