Potassium citrate

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Potassium citrate
Potassium citrate.svg
IUPAC name
tripotassium citrate
ATC code A12BA02
866-84-2 YesY
ChEMBL ChEMBL1200458 N
ChemSpider 12775 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image
PubChem 13344
Molar mass 306.395 g/mol
Appearance white powder
Odor odorless
Density 1.98 g/cm3
Melting point 180 °C (356 °F; 453 K)[1]
Boiling point 230 °C (446 °F; 503 K)[1]
Solubility soluble in glycerin
insoluble in ethanol (95%)
Acidity (pKa) 8.5
170 mg/kg (IV, dog)
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N verify (what isYesY/N?)
Infobox references

Potassium citrate is a potassium salt of citric acid with the molecular formula C6H5K3O7. It is a white, slightly hygroscopic crystalline powder. It is odorless with a saline taste. It contains 38.3% potassium by mass.

As a food additive, potassium citrate is used to regulate acidity and is known as E number E332. Medicinally, it may be used to control kidney stones derived from either uric acid or cystine.


Potassium citrate is produced by adding potassium bicarbonate or potassium carbonate to a solution of citric acid until effervescence ceases, filtering the solution and evaporating to granulation.


Potassium citrate is rapidly absorbed when given by mouth and is excreted in the urine.[2] Since it is an alkaline salt it is effective in reducing the pain and frequency of urination when these are caused by highly acidic urine.[medical citation needed] It is used for this purpose in dogs and cats, but is chiefly employed as a non-irritating diuretic.

Potassium citrate is an effective way to treat/manage gout and arrhythmia, if the patient is hypokalemic.[medical citation needed]

It is widely used to treat urinary calculi (kidney stones) and is often used by patients with cystinuria.[medical citation needed] A study of 500 patients with recurrent stones found that it reduced the frequency of stones from 2 per year to a half per year.

It is also used as an alkanizing agent in the treatment of mild urinary tract infections such as cystitis.[3]

Usual Adult Dose: 3 to 6 teaspoonfuls (15 to 30 mL), diluted with 1 glass of water, after meals and at bedtime, or as directed by a physician.

Usual Pediatric Dose: 1 to 3 teaspoonfuls (5 to 15 mL), diluted with 1/2 glass of water, after meals and at bedtime, or as directed by a physician.

Usual Dosage Range: 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls (10 to 15 mL), diluted with a glassful of water, taken four times a day. A brand, Cytra-K Oral Solution, diluted with a glassful of water, taken four times a day will usually maintain a urinary pH of 7.0-7.6 throughout most of the 24 hours without unpleasant side effects.

It is also used in many soft drinks as a buffering agent.


Potassium citrate is usually administered by mouth in dilute aqueous solution. This is because of its somewhat caustic effect on the stomach lining, and the potential for other mild health hazards.

In the United-States, in states where non-prescription potassium citrate is legal, the maximum allowable over-the-counter (OTC) dose for elemental potassium is regulated by the FDA to be no more than 100 mg (approximately 3% of the daily allowance).[citation needed] Pure potassium citrate contains 38.28% potassium.

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