Ammonium Chloride

(BAN)
Synonyms: 510; Ammonii chloridum; Ammonium Chloratum; Ammonium, chlorure d’; Ammoniumklorid; Ammónium-klorid; Ammoniumkloridi; Amonio chloridas; Amonio, cloruro de; Amonowy chlorek; Chlorid amonný; Cloruro de Amonio; Muriate of Ammonia; Sal Ammoniac.
Cyrillic synonym: Хлорид Аммония; Хлористый Аммоний.

💊 Chemical information

Chemical formula: NH4Cl = 53.49.
CAS — 12125-02-9.
ATC — B05XA04; G04BA01.
ATC Vet — QB05XA04; QG04BA01.

Pharmacopoeias.

In Chin., Eur., US, and Viet.

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Ammonium Chloride). A white or almost white, crystalline powder or colourless crystals. Freely soluble in water.

USP 31

(Ammonium Chloride). Colourless crystals or white, fine or course, crystalline powder. Is somewhat hygroscopic. Freely soluble in water and in glycerol, and even more so in boiling water; sparingly soluble in alcohol. pH of a 5% solution in water is between 4.6 and 6.0. Store in airtight containers.

💊 Adverse Effects and Treatment

Ammonium salts are irritant to the gastric mucosa and may produce nausea and vomiting particularly in large doses. Large doses of ammonium chloride may cause a profound acidosis and hypokalaemia which should be treated symptomatically. Intravenous ammonium chloride can cause pain and irritation at the site of injection, which may be decreased by slowing the rate of infusion. Excessive doses of ammonium salts, particularly if given by rapid intravenous injection, may give rise to hepatic encephalopathy due to the inability of the liver to convert the increased load of ammonium ions to urea.

💊 Precautions

Ammonium salts are contra-indicated in patients with hepatic or renal impairment.

💊 Pharmacokinetics

Ammonium chloride is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. The ammonium ion is converted into urea in the liver; the anion thus liberated into the blood and extracellular fluid causes a metabolic acidosis and decreases the pH of the urine; this is followed by transient diuresis.

💊 Uses and Administration

Ammonium chloride is used as an expectorant in productive cough. Other ammonium salts that have been used similarly include the acetate, bicarbonate, camphorate, carbonate, citrate, and glycyrrhizate. Giving ammonium chloride produces a transient diuresis and acidosis. It may be used in the treatment of severe metabolic alkalosis. Each g of ammonium chloride represents 18.69 mmol of chloride. It is usually given as a 1 to 2% solution by slow intravenous infusion, in a dosage depending on the severity of the alkalosis. A concentrated solution of ammonium chloride may be diluted by sodium chloride injection. Ammonium chloride may also be used to maintain the urine at an acid pH in the treatment of some urinary-tract disorders. It is usually given orally, often as enteric-coated tablets, in a dose of 1 to 2 g every four to six hours. Higher doses were sometimes used in forced acid diuresis procedures to aid the excretion of basic drugs, such as amfetamines, in severe cases of overdosage. Ammonium chloride has been promoted for self administration as a diuretic, for example in premenstrual water retention; an oral dose of 650 mg three times daily for up to 6 days has been suggested, but such use is generally considered inappropriate.

💊 Preparations

BP 2008: Ammonium Chloride Mixture; Aromatic Ammonia Solution; Aromatic Ammonia Spirit; Strong Ammonium Acetate Solution; White Liniment; USP 31: Ammonium Chloride Delayed-release Tablets; Ammonium Chloride Injection; Aromatic Ammonia Spirit; Potassium Gluconate, Potassium Citrate, and Ammonium Chloride Oral Solution.

Proprietary Preparations

Austral.: Nyal Bronchitis; Fr.: Chlorammonic†; Ger.: Extin N; Switz.: Chloramon.
Published October 23, 2018.