Edetic Acid

Synonyms: Acide Édétique; Ácido edético; Acidum edeticum; Edathamil; Edetiinihappo; Edetinsyra; Edeto ru _ gštis; EDTA; Etiléndiamintetraecetsav; Kwas edetynowy; Kyselina edetová; Tetracemic Acid. Ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid.
Cyrillic synonym: Эдетовая Кислота.

💊 Chemical information

Chemical formula: C10H16N2O8 = 292.2.
CAS — 60-00-4.


In Eur.. Also in USNF.

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Edetic Acid). A white or almost white, crystalline powder or colourless crystals. Practically insoluble in water and in alcohol. It dissolves in dilute solutions of alkali hydroxides. Protect from light.


(Edetic Acid). A white crystalline powder. Very slightly soluble in water; soluble in solutions of alkali hydroxides.


Edetic acid and its salts chelate bivalent and trivalent metals and may affect the activity of drugs such as zinc insulin that contain such ions. Although edetates may enhance the antimicrobial efficacy of some disinfectants, other preservatives may be inactivated. For reference to the inactivation of phenylmercuric salts by disodium edetate, see Incompatibility, under Phenylmercuric Nitrate. For a report of edetates reducing the antimicrobial efficacy of thiomersal, see Incompatibility.

💊 Adverse Effects and Precautions

Edetic acid, used as a pharmaceutical excipient, is generally well tolerated. Adverse effects have been reported after inhalation of solutions containing edetic acid.


Inhalation of an ipratropium nebuliser solution that contained edetic acid as one of the preservatives caused bronchoconstriction in 6 of 22 patients with asthma.1 Inhalation of edetic acid alone produced dose-related bronchoconstriction that persisted for more than 1 hour.
1. Beasley CRW, et al. Bronchoconstrictor properties of preservatives in ipratropium bromide (Atrovent) nebuliser solution. BMJ 1987; 294: 1197–8.

Blood testing.

Pseudothrombocytopenia due to platelet clumping is a recognised complication of the use of edetates as anticoagulants for blood sampling and may lead to diagnostic errors.1The mechanism appears to be antibody-mediated. Alternative anticoagulants have been suggested.1,2
1. Bizzaro N. EDTA-dependent pseudothrombocytopenia: a clinical and epidemiological study of 112 cases, with 10-year followup. Am J Hematol 1995; 50: 103–9
2. Lippi U, et al. EDTA-induced platelet aggregation can be avoided by a new anticoagulant also suitable for automated complete blood count. Haematologica 1990; 75: 38–41.

💊 Uses

Edetic acid and its salts are chelators and are used in pharmaceutical manufacturing as well as having other industrial applications. They are also used as anticoagulants for blood taken for haematological investigations. Salts of edetic acid that are used clinically include sodium edetate, sodium calcium edetate, dicobalt edetate, and sodium feredetate.


Edetic acid has been suggested as a possible solvent for non-cholesterol gallstones.

💊 Preparations

Proprietary Preparations

Multi-ingredient: USA: Clear Eyes Contact Lens Relief; Summers Eve Post-Menstrual; Triv; Zonite.
Published November 09, 2018.