What is Aluminium Hydroxide used to Treat?
What is Aluminium hydroxide used to treat?
Aluminium Hydroxide is also known as Aluminic Acid or at times as alum and needs to be commercially manufactured using the Bayer procedure. The process involves dissolving bauxite in a solution of sodium hydroxide at 270 degree Celsius. Once the procedure is completed, waste removal is carried out, leaving the solution of sodium aluminate to precipitate. The mineral obtained through the precipitation is called aluminium hydroxide.
Many elements found on the surface or atmosphere of earth are used in treatment of various ailments – of humans and animals. Aluminium also has its place of pride in being used as a compound form in human and veterinary medicine.
Aluminium hydroxide used for medical purposes comes as a capsule, a tablet, and an oral liquid and suspension. The dose and frequency of use depends of course on the condition being treated.
Retailed under the generic name “algeldrate”, aluminium hydroxide is used as an antacid in humans and animals (mainly cats and dogs). It is preferred over other alternatives such as sodium bicarbonate because Aluminium Hydroxide, is insoluble and does not increase the pH value of stomach above 7 and hence, does not trigger secretion of excess acid by the stomach. Aluminium Hydroxide reacts with excess acid secreted in the stomach and reduces the acidity of the stomach content. This could eventually relieve the symptoms of ulcers, heartburn or dyspepsia.
This compound of aluminium also finds use in controlling high phosphate or phosphorus levels in the blood, which usually happens in people or animals suffering from kidney failure. Kidney failure can cause phosphate to accumulate because in healthy individuals it is the kidneys that filter excess phosphate out from the blood. Aluminium hydroxide in medicines when ingested, binds to phosphate in the stomach and reduces the amount of phosphorus that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Aluminium hydroxide finds use in some vaccines as well for immunising against pathogens that are blocked by antibodies. Since it absorbs protein well, it also functions to stabilise vaccines by preventing the proteins in the vaccine from precipitating or sticking to the walls of the container during storage.
Aluminium hydroxide preparations should however be had with caution as they have some side effects as well. It can cause constipation, but the side effect can be reduced by inclusion of magnesium compounds which have laxative effects to counter balance. Another side effect of medicines that use aluminium hydroxide is a lack of appetite.
Aluminium hydroxide may also interfere with other medicines, making them less effective and should be used with caution if you have hypertension, heart or kidney disease, or gastrointestinal bleeding. It should always be consumed under the guidance of a doctor.
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