A few meds may need a salty substance as an ingredient; this makes way to such drugs to be absorbed readily in your gastric system. Some meds may also need a salty chemical to have them dissolved into your blood. Apart from the way drugs are absorbed, salty nature can let meds have a lengthy shelf life. In other words, addition of a few salts can make drugs to become more stable. In this light, nearly 45% (or more) of meds are made available as salts. In this milieu, what is the use of hydrochloride? It is worth your while to have needful inputs on this.

Use of hydrochloride in meds

Of the many salts used in meds, hydrochloride is a widely used salty chemical. Other forms of salts used in drugs are sodium-based salts, sulfate as well as acetate. Also, diphosphate (phosphate), potassium as well as maleate are commonly used in meds. As per a recent study, it has been found out that more than 14.5% of meds have hydrochloride in them. Sodium-based substances (salts) are found to be added in nearly 8.5% of medications.

So, when a drug has a suffix “hydrochloride” to its name – for example, oxycodone hydrochloride, it means the salt is present in it. However, in order the shrink the name of meds, manufacturers may label them without a suffix. So, absence of the suffix / label “hydrochloride” does not necessarily mean such salts are absent in drugs such as oxycodone hydrochloride. Instead, it is only a truncated form of the full name; written thus for simplifying things.

But, when two unique salty forms are used – for instance, metoprolol succinate and metoprolol tartrate; the names are shrunk or shortened. You will find the suffix written in full form to dispel doubts about the salt variant used in each form of such drugs.

What determines the use of hydrochloride in a drug?

Hydrochloride is used in drugs based on the intended pH value of it i.e., whether it is an alkaline form or an acidic form. A few other reasons why this salt is used depend on a host of factors; these include the dosage form of the med (i.e., is it a liquid, capsule or a pill), mode of intake (either intravenous, orally or topically), desired stability of the final product as well as the shelf life of drugs.

There are instances wherein hydrochloride (or such other salts) is added to determine the mode of release of the active ingredients used in meds. In case of a controlled release mode, salts can influence the breakdown of the key chemicals used. Manufacturers also use salts – such as hydrochloride – to alter the taste of drugs as well as the efficacy. Salts may also help bring lesser painful episodes while being injected.

Use of other salts in meds

As noted above, salts such as maleate, potassium, diphosphate or phosphate as well as acetate are also used during the manufacturing process. Studies indicate that sulfate is used in about 3.5% of drugs, acetate in more than 2% and diphosphate is used in almost 2% of meds. On the other hand, potassium is added in more than 1.5% of drugs while maleate is used in less than 1.5% of meds.

Manufacturers make the choice of salts based on the intended texture, longevity of the drug / shelf life, taste and a few other goals. The aforesaid is not a complete list of salts. It is hence a safe practice to talk to a qualified medical professional and / or pharmacist prior to taking any meds that may have salts added to them. In the same light, it is always a good thing to buy meds based on the prescription of your treating doctor. Last but not least, drugs (with salts or without salts such as hydrochloride) can be procured from online pharmacies. But, prior to placing your order, check the credentials of website(s) as some vendors may share your details –such as bank details, etc. – to third parties.

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