Sodium is the major cation in ECF. Sodium performs many func-tions:
· It maintains the osmotic pressure and concentration of ECF, acid-base balance, and water balance.
· It contributes to nerve conduction and neuromuscular function.
· It plays a role in glandular secretion.
Sodium replacement is necessary in conditions that rapidly de-plete sodium, such as anorexia, excessive loss of GI fluids, and ex-cessive perspiration. Diuretics and tap water enemas can also de-plete sodium, particularly when fluids are replaced by plain water.
Sodium also can be lost in trauma or wound drainage, adrenal gland insufficiency, cirrhosis of the liver with ascites, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone, and prolonged I.V. infusion of dextrose in water without other solutes.
Sodium is typically replaced in the form of sodium chloride.
Oral and parenteral sodium chloride are quickly absorbed and distributed widely throughout the body.
Sodium chloride isn’t significantly metabolized. It’s elimi-nated primarily in urine but also in sweat, tears, and saliva.
Sodium chloride solution replaces deficiencies of the sodi-um and chloride ions in the blood plasma.
Sodium chloride is used for water and electrolyte replacement in patients with hyponatremia from electrolyte loss or severe sodium chloride depletion.
Severe symptomatic sodium deficiency may be treated by I.V. infu-sion of a solution containing sodium chloride.
No significant drug interactions have been reported with sodium chloride. (See Adverse reactions to sodium.)