Potassium citrate

Potassium citrate (also known as tripotassium citrate) is a potassium salt of citric acid with the molecular formula K3C6H5O7. It is a white, hygroscopic crystalline powder. It is odorless with a saline taste. It contains 38.28% potassium by mass. In the monohydrate form it is highly hygroscopic and deliquescent.

Potassium citrate
IUPAC name
tripotassium citrate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.011.596
E number E332(ii) (antioxidants, ...)
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
A12BA02 (WHO)
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
170 mg/kg (IV, dog)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

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.[3] 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[4] and arrhythmia, if the patient is hypokalemic.

It is widely used to treat urinary calculi (kidney stones) and is often used by patients with cystinuria. 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 alkalizing agent in the treatment of mild urinary tract infections such as cystitis.[5]

It is also used in many soft drinks as a buffering agent.[6]


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.


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