Sodium Sulfate

CAS RN: 7757-82-6

Key Info

CLINICAL EFFECTS

0.2.1 SUMMARY OF EXPOSURE

0.2.1.1 ACUTE EXPOSURE
A) USES: Saline laxatives and cathartics are used in the treatment of constipation. This class of laxatives include: citrate,
sulfate, and tartrate salts of potassium or sodium.
B) EPIDEMIOLOGY: Toxicity from overdose is rare. Chronic laxative abuse may occur in patients with eating disorders, Munchausen
Syndrome or factitious disorders.
C) PHARMACOLOGY: Saline cathartics are salts which retain fluids in the intestine by the osmotic action of the unabsorbed salt
indirectly producing an increase in peristalsis.
D) TOXICOLOGY: Saline cathartics are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract hence, systemic toxicity is unlikely unless
massive amounts have been ingested. Large exposures can cause dehydration and electrolyte disturbances secondary to the osmotic
effects.
E) WITH THERAPEUTIC USE
1) ADVERSE EFFECTS: Typically, patients experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with abdominal cramping.
F) WITH POISONING/EXPOSURE
1) MILD TO MODERATE TOXICITY: The vast majority of cases are mild and patients experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal
cramping.
2) SEVERE TOXICITY: Saline cathartics are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract hence, systemic toxicity is unlikely
unless massive amounts have been ingested. Severe effects may include dehydration, hypotension, hypernatremia, and electrolyte
abnormalities. Hyperkalemia and ECG abnormalities developed in 2 patients after ingesting 6 tablespoons of cream of tartar (potassium
bitartrate).
3) CARDIOVASCULAR: A laxative withdrawal syndrome is described which is caused by persistent hyperaldosteronism and clinically
manifested by edema. Theoretically, absorption of sodium could precipitate heart failure, but this has not been reported.
4) GASTROINTESTINAL: Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea associated with abdominal cramping are the most common signs and symptoms
of saline toxicity. Patients with atherosclerotic disease receiving cathartics for procedural bowel preparation have been reported
to develop ischemic colitis. Small bowel obstruction secondary to medication bezoar has been reported in patients taking laxatives
chronically.
5) GENITOURINARY: A mild diuresis may occur following excessive absorption of saline laxatives.
6) FLUID BALANCE: Dehydration and hypovolemia may develop secondary to excessive diarrhea.
7) ELECTROLYTE BALANCE: Hypokalemia may develop secondary to excessive diarrhea.

FIRE FIGHTING PROCEDURES

Most fire extinguishing agents may be used in fires involving sodium sulfate.


REACTIVITIES & INCOMPATIBILITIES

Sodium sulfate reacts violently with magnesium.
Incompatibilities: sulfates give precipitates with salts of lead, barium, strontium, & calcium. Silver & mercury form slightly
sol salts. Alc ... /precipitates/ most sulfates out of soln. /sulfate salts/
At a temperature of 800 deg C, sodium sulfate and aluminum will explode.

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