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Sodium Sulfate

The Elephant Formulary
© 2003-06 Susan K. Mikota DVM and Donald C. Plumb, Pharm.D.
Published by Elephant Care International -
www.elephantcare.org


Elephant specific information, if available, is in blue.

Chemistry - Sodium sulfate (hexahydrate form) occurs as large, colorless, odorless, crys­tals or white crystalline powder. It will effloresce in dry air and partially dissolve in its own water of crystallization at about 33°C. 1 gram is soluble in about 2.5 ml of water.

 

Storage/Stability/Compatibility - Store in tight containers at temperatures not exceeding 30°C.

 

Pharmacology - When given orally, sodium sulfate acts as a saline cathartic (draws water into small intestine). Sodium sulfate is considered to be the most effective saline cathartic on a molar basis. Sulfates also react with a variety of cations to form non-absorbable com­pounds, which may explain its efficacy in reducing copper loads and to reduce gut cal­cium.

 

Uses/Indications - Sodium sulfate is used as a saline cathartic, primarily in food animals.

 

Pharmacokinetics - Sodium sulfate is not appreciably absorbed from the GI tract and thereby acts a saline cathartic. Sodium may be absorbed however, after exchanging with other cations.

 

Contraindications/Precautions - Saline cathartics should not be used in dehydrated ani­mals. Because of the drug’s high sodium content, it should be used with caution in patients with severe CHF or in patients otherwise susceptible to sodium retention.

 

Adverse Effects/Warnings - Diarrhea, cramping and flatulence may result. Electrolyte abnormalities may occur with chronic use.

 

Doses -

Cattle:

As a cathartic:

a)   500 - 750 g PO as a 6% solution via stomach tube (Davis 1993)

 

Dosage Forms/Preparations/FDA Approval Status/Withholding Times -

 

Veterinary-Approved Products: None

 

Human-Approved Products: None

Sodium sulfate (hexahydrate) is available from chemical supply houses.

 

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