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Oral rehydration salts are used to treat dehydration caused by diarrhea, fluid loss, burns, and other conditions that cause water and electrolyte deficiency.
Oral rehydration salts do not treat the cause of diarrhea, but rather replace the lost salts, sugars, and water. If the cause of dehydration is due to an infection, additional antimicrobial and vitamin (zinc) supplementation may be necessary.
For the oral powder, open the sachet and pour the contents into 200 mL of distilled or purified (not mineral) drinking water. Stir well until all the powder has dissolved and the solution is clear or slightly cloudy.
Make sure your child drinks the entire glass of solution. If they cannot drink it all in one go, they can drink it over about 30 minutes. It may help to use a straw.
Oral rehydration salts are usually given after each runny stool (diarrhea).
Your doctor will calculate the exact dose of oral rehydration salts that is right for your child. If you bought it over-the-counter, the estimated doses will be shown on the product label or box. Encourage your child to drink as much as they can of the recommended dose.
This drug should be stored at room temperature (<30°C) and be protected from moisture. Always check the label before using this product. For safety, keep out of the reach of children and pets.
After mixing the solution, do not keep the solution for more than one hour at room temperature. It can safely be stored in the refrigerator (2-8°C) for up to 24 hours.
Do not use if the printed expiration date has passed, the product seal has been broken, or the product has changed in color, odor, or consistency.
Do not dispose of this product by pouring it down the drain, toilet, or into the environment. Ask your pharmacist regarding the proper way and location of disposal.
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
ORS and other electrolytes are considered safe for use in pregnant and lactating women when there is a risk of dehydration.
Consult with your doctor regarding your hydration status, as ORS may not be enough in moderate-to-severe cases of dehydration. Dehydration can affect pregnant and lactating women more severely than other populations of patients.
When prepared and taken as recommended, no side effects are expected to occur. While side effects are not likely to happen even with additional doses, excessive amounts or megadoses of salt, sugar, or water can cause adverse effects.
Potential adverse effects include:
These side effects are more likely to occur if the solution is made at home rather than using the premade ORS sachets or when the solution is diluted or followed with too much water.
You or your child may experience some, none, or other side effects not mentioned above. If you have any concerns about a side effect or it becomes bothersome, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Oral rehydration salts may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.
To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.
If you experience an adverse drug interaction, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Your dose may need to be adjusted, substituted with another drug, or discontinue using the drug.
There are no significant food or alcohol interactions with ORS. Avoid alcohol intake to prevent worsening dehydration.
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns regarding food-drug interactions.
Oral rehydration salts may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
This drug should be taken with caution if you have any of the following conditions or risk factors:
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using oral rehydration salts (ORS).
The recommended dose is 200 to 400 mL in 24 hours.
According to the WHO, fluid replacement doses are based on the age and current hydration status of the child.
For no dehydration (with episodes of loose stools)
For some dehydration (administer within the first 4 hours)
For severe dehydration
Give intravenous (IV) Ringer’s Lactate or, if not available, normal saline and ORS as outlined above. Do not give plain glucose or dextrose solution.
In cases of severe dehydration, seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible. Give rehydration solutions at home until you can make it to the hospital.
Oral rehydration salts are available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
If you miss a dose of oral rehydration salts, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Hydrite, https://assets.unilab.com.ph/uploads/Common/Products/Hydrite/hydrite.pdf, Accessed Sept 15, 2020
Oral rehydration salts, https://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/fch_cah_06_1/en/, Accessed Sept 15, 2020
Rehydration therapy, https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/treatment/rehydration-therapy.html, Accessed Sept 15, 2020