Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Acetic acid (C2H4O2) is a widely used industrial chemical reagent and solvent often used in industrial processing. It exists as an acidic liquid or crystals. Vinegar contains roughly 5-15 percent acetic acid. Acetic acid is approved for use in the U.S. as a food additive, and is used mainly to adjust pH and as a pickling agent for vegetables.
Pharmaceutically, glacial (or water-free) acetic acid is used as a hypotonic urologic irrigation for the urinary bladder. It exerts an antimicrobial action and lowers the pH against a variety of bacteria (especially ammonia-forming bacteria) that may gain access to the urinary bladder in patients who require indwelling urethral catheterization.
Acetasol and Vosol are over-the-counter eardrops that contain acetic acid and are used to treat outer ear bacterial or fungal infections (otitis externa). They are not effective for inner ear infections (otits media).