Drug information of Ammonium chloride

Ammonium chloride

Drug group:

Ammonium chloride is an inorganic compound with the formula NH4Cl and a white crystalline salt that is highly soluble in water. Solutions of ammonium chloride are mildly acidic.

Mechanism of effect

  1. Increases acidity by increasing the amount of hydrogen ion concentrations.
  2. Ammonium chloride is used as an expectorant in cough medicine. Its expectorant action is caused by irritative action on the bronchial mucosa, which causes the production of excess respiratory tract fluid and make it easier to cough it up.


Systemic acidifier. In liver ammonium chloride is converted into urea with the liberation of hydrogen ions ( which lowers the pH) and chloride.


Metabolism: Ammonium ion is converted to urea in the liver; chloride ion replaces bicarbonate

Excretion: Urine


Adult and Pediatric

Hypochloremic States & Metabolic Alkalosis

mEq of chloride ion (as ammonium chloride-NH4Cl) = [0.2 L/kg X BW (kg)] X [103 - observed serum chloride]; administer 50% of dose over 12 hr and reevaluate

103 is the average normal serum chloride concentration (mEq/L) and 0.2 L/kg is the estimated chloride volume of distribution

Drug contraindications

liver failure , renal failure


  • Pulmonary insufficiency, cardiac edema, severe renal impairment (do not give NH4Cl alone if concomitant Na loss)
  • Risk of ammonia toxicity (monitor)
  • Monitor patients CO2 combining power prior to IV administration to avoid serious acidosis

Pregnancy level


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