Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 24, 2018.
What is it?
Potassium bicarbonate, KHCO3, appears as a white powder or as colorless solid crystal and has a salty taste. It is also known as potash. It is a carbonate salt often used in pharmaceutical applications as a buffering agent for medications to maintain a certain pH. Potassium bicarbonate may also be used as a reactive agent for chemical reactions in the pharmaceutical industries. Effervescent tablets and powders are available to provide potassium when there are low levels of potassium in the blood due to inadequate diet, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or use of certain medications such as corticosteroids or diuretics. They dissolve quickly, are stable, convenient and easy to carry.
All carbonate salts are on the FDA generally regarded as safe list. There is no evidence in the available information on calcium carbonate, potassium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, or sodium sesquicarbonate that demonstrates or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect a hazard to the public when used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in the future.
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