Acetic Acid

Common Brands Actos
Drug Class
Controlled Substance Classification
Not a controlled medication
Generic Status
Lower-cost generic available
Prescription only
Shifali Patel, PharmD
Shifali Patel, PharmD
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Medically reviewed by Shifali Patel, PharmD last update on 20/12/2023


Acetic acid, also known as ethanoic acid, is a clear, colorless liquid with a pungent smell. Chemically represented as CH3COOH, it is a simple carboxylic acid widely utilized in various industrial and medical applications. Acetic acid is a vital component in vinegar and has a long history of use for its antimicrobial properties.

Acetic acid’s molecular structure consists of two main parts – a methyl group (CH3) and a carboxyl group (COOH). This unique structure contributes to its diverse applications. The acid is soluble in water, making it suitable for medical uses, particularly as an irrigant.

The use of acetic acid can be traced back to ancient times when people discovered its preservative and medicinal properties in food and wound care. Over the years, its applications have evolved, and today, it plays a crucial role in various medical procedures.

Apart from its culinary uses, acetic acid is employed in a range of medical applications. This article will delve into its role as an irrigant, exploring its uses, potential side effects, and precautions.



Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation