Acetic acid (medical use)
Chemical formula of acetic acid
|Trade names||Acetasol, Vasotate, Acid Jelly, Domeboro Otic, others|
|Chemical and physical data|
|3D model (JSmol)|
Acetic acid, which at low concentrations is known as vinegar, is used as a medication to treat a number of conditions. As an eardrop it is used to treat infections of the ear canal. It may be used with an ear wick. As a liquid it is used to flush the bladder in those who have a urinary catheter in an attempt to prevent infection or blockage. As a gel it may be used to adjust the pH of the vagina. It may also be applied to the cervix to help detect cervical cancer during screening.
Side effects may include burning at the site of application. Allergic reactions may rarely occur. Use is not recommended in the ear in people who have a hole in the eardrum. It works against both bacterial and fungal causes of external ear infections.
Acetic acid has been used medically since the time of Ancient Egypt. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Acetic acid is available as a generic medication. In the United States a course of treatment with the ear preparation costs less than 25 USD. Acetic acid is more commonly used for external ear infections in the developing world than the developed.
Acetic acid may be applied to the cervix to help detect cervical cancer during screening in many areas in the developing world. Acetic acid is applied to the cervix and if an area of white appears after about a minute the test is positive.
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