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Ammonium Chloride

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) is a salt formulation of ammonia and hydrogen chloride. It is a colorless crystalline substance, and soluble in water forming an acidic solution. Commercially, ammonium chloride is used as a nitrogen source for fertilizer. It is also used as an electrolyte, and it also is found in many pharmaceuticals preparations such as cough and cold medications, and has been used as an expectorant to help clear lung secretions. It may also be found in shampoos as ammonium lauryl sulfate, a thickening agent. As an active ingredient, ammonium Chloride Injection, USP, after dilution in isotonic sodium chloride injection, may be indicated in the treatment of patients with hypochloremic states and metabolic alkalosis. There is no evidence in the available information on ammonium bicarbonate, ammonium carbonate, ammonium chloride, ammonium hydroxide, mono and dibasic ammonium phosphate, and ammonium sulfate that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in future.

[1] Chemspider. Ammonium chloride. Accessed January 12, 2014. http://www.chemspider.com/Chemical-Structure.23807.html?rid=327b4d36-736e-4787-bacd-68460ac49af

[2] Drugs.com. Ammonium chloride. Accessed January 12, 2014http://www.drugs.com/pro/ammonium-chloride.html#indications

[3] FDA’s SCOGS database; calcium phosphate dibasic; SCOGS-Report Number: 34; http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fcn/fcnDetailNavigation.cfm?rpt=scogsListing&id=27 Accessed January 12, 2014.

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