Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 18, 2020.
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).
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.