Oxalic Acid

Oxalic Acid Chemical formula

💊 Chemical information

Kwas szczawiowy; Oxálico, ácido.
Chemical formula: HO2C,CO2H,2H2O = 126.1.
CAS — 144-62-7 (anhydrous oxalic acid); 6153-56-6 ATC Vet — QP53AG03.

💊 Adverse Effects

On ingestion, severe gastroenteritis is produced by the corrosive action of oxalic acid and its soluble salts on the gastrointestinal tract. Burning of the mouth, throat, and oesophagus with ulceration may also occur. Hypoxia may occur in the presence of laryngeal oedema, and shock and hypotension may arise in severe cases. Oxalates can chelate body calcium following systemic absorption, and may produce symptoms of hypocalcaemia such as tetany, convulsions, and, in some cases, ventricular fibrillation. Oxalate crystals may be deposited in the blood vessels, brain, heart, liver, and lungs; deposition in the renal tubules leads to acute renal failure. The mean fatal dose of oxalates has been reported to be about 15 to 30 g, although death has occurred with much lower doses. Death may occur within a few hours of ingestion. Crystals of calcium oxalate present in the sap of daffodils3 or Agave tequilana plants4 have been reported to contribute to the rash experienced by workers coming into contact with these plants.
1. Dvořáčková I. Tödliche Vergiftung nach intravenöser Verabreichung von Natriumoxalat. Arch Toxikol 1966; 22: 63–7
2. Farré M, et al. Fatal oxalic acid poisoning from sorrel soup. Lancet 1989; ii: 1524
3. Julian CG, Bowers PW. The nature and distribution of daffodil pickers’ rash. Contact Dermatitis 1997; 37: 259–62
4. Salinas ML, et al. Irritant contact dermatitis caused by needlelike calcium oxalate crystals, raphides, in Agave tequilana among workers in tequila distilleries and agave plantations. Contact Dermatitis 2001; 44: 94–6.

💊 Treatment of Adverse Effects

After ingestion of oxalic acid, a dilute solution of any soluble calcium salt should be given to precipitate the oxalate; alternatively milk may be given. Oral activated charcoal has also been suggested if ingestion has occurred within 1 hour. Gastric lavage is contra-indicated by some centres given the corrosive nature of oxalic acid. Calcium gluconate 10% should be given intravenously to prevent tetany. Acute renal failure should be anticipated in surviving patients and calls for careful fluid management. Haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis have also been suggested for the removal of oxalate in primary oxalosis in an attempt to prevent acute renal failure and correct hypocalcaemia.

💊 Uses

Oxalic acid has varied industrial uses and has been used in escharotic preparations. Oxalic acid salts have been given orally and the urinary excretion of oxalate used as a screening test for lipid malabsorption.

Diagnostic use.

1. Rampton DS, et al. Screening for steatorrhoea with an oxalate loading test. BMJ 1984; 288: 1419. Correction. ibid.; 1728
2. Sangaletti O, et al. Urinary oxalate recovery after oral oxalic acid load: an alternative method to the quantitative determination of stool fat for the diagnosis of lipid malabsorption. J Int Med Res 1989; 17: 526–31.

💊 Preparations

Proprietary Preparations

Multi-ingredient: Cz.: Solcogyn†; Ger.: Solco-Derman; Hong Kong: Solcoderm; Malaysia: Solcoderm†; Pol.: Solcogyn; Rus.: Solcoderm (Солкодерм); Solcovagin (Солковагин); Switz.: Solcoderm; Solcogyn.
Published May 08, 2019.