U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Divider Arrow National Institutes of Health Divider Arrow NCATS


Stereochemistry ACHIRAL
Molecular Formula H4N
Molecular Weight 18.0385
Optical Activity NONE
Defined Stereocenters 0 / 0
E/Z Centers 0
Charge 1






The ammonium cation is a positively charged polyatomic ion with the chemical formula NH4+. Ammonium ions are a waste product of the metabolism of animals. In fish and aquatic invertebrates, it is excreted directly into the water. In mammals, sharks, and amphibians, it is converted in the urea cycle to urea, because urea is less toxic and can be stored more efficiently. In birds, reptiles, and terrestrial snails, metabolic ammonium is converted into uric acid, which is solid and can therefore be excreted with minimal water loss. Ammonium is an important source of nitrogen for many plant species, especially those growing on hypoxic soils. However, it is also toxic to most crop species and is rarely applied as a sole nitrogen source. The ammonium ion (NH4+) in the body plays an important role in the maintenance of acid-base balance. The kidney uses ammonium (NH4+) in place of sodium (Na+) to combine with fixed anions in maintaining acid-base balance, especially as a homeostatic compensatory mechanism in metabolic acidosis. When a loss of hydrogen ions (H+) occurs and serum chloride (Cl–) decreases, sodium is made available for combination with bicarbonate (HCO3–). This creates an excess of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) which leads to a rise in blood pH and a state of metabolic alkalosis. The therapeutic effects of Ammonium (as Ammonium Chloride) depend upon the ability of the kidney to utilize ammonia in the excretion of an excess of fixed anions and the conversion of ammonia to urea by the liver, thereby liberating hydrogen (H+) and chloride (Cl–) ions into the extracellular fluid.

Approval Year



Primary TargetPharmacologyConditionPotency
Target ID: CHEMBL1947
Sources: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22324546


ConditionModalityTargetsHighest PhaseProduct

Approved Use


Launch Date



Acute changes of blood ammonia may predict short-term adverse effects of valproic acid.
1984 Nov
Venous, arterial, and arterialized-venous blood ammonia levels and their relationship to hepatic encephalopathy after propranolol.
1988 Mar
Cytoprotective effect of plasmin inhibitor on necrotizing agent-induced gastric lesions in rats.
1989 May
Intracellular flux analysis applied to the effect of dissolved oxygen on hybridomas.
1995 Dec
[Ammonia and GABA-ergic neurotransmission in pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy].
[Detection of myocardial lesion in patients with acute ammonia poisoning].
2003 Aug
Pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy: update on molecular mechanisms.
2003 Dec
Hepatocyte dysfunction and hepatic encephalopathy in Plasmodium falciparum malaria.
2003 Jul
Pharmacokinetic considerations in development of a bioartificial liver.
Phosphorylation of mouse glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate amidotransferase 2 (GFAT2) by cAMP-dependent protein kinase increases the enzyme activity.
2004 Jul 16
Acute ammonia intoxication induces an NMDA receptor-mediated increase in poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase level and NAD metabolism in nuclei of rat brain cells.
2004 Jun
Relationship between tumor necrosis factor-alpha and ammonia in patients with hepatic encephalopathy due to chronic liver failure.
Chronic exposure to ammonia alters the modulation of phosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein 2 by metabotropic glutamate receptors 1 and 5 in cerebellar neurons in culture.
Mechanisms of ammonia-induced astrocyte swelling.
2005 Dec
Cerebral ammonia uptake and accumulation during prolonged exercise in humans.
2005 Feb 15
Effect of the herbal medicine Dai-kenchu-to for serum ammonia in hepatectomized patients.
2005 Jan-Feb
Anti-inflammatory effects of inhibiting the amine oxidase activity of semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase.
2005 Nov
Role of ammonia and nitric oxide in the decrease in plasma prolactin levels in prehepatic portal hypertensive male rats.
Liver-specific loss of beta-catenin blocks glutamine synthesis pathway activity and cytochrome p450 expression in mice.
2006 Apr
Renal expression of the ammonia transporters, Rhbg and Rhcg, in response to chronic metabolic acidosis.
2006 Feb
Long-term correction of ammonia metabolism and prolonged survival in ornithine transcarbamylase-deficient mice following liver-directed treatment with adeno-associated viral vectors.
2006 Jul
[The most frequent allergens in allergic contact dermatitis].
2006 Jul 14
Expression of the ammonia transporter, rh C glycoprotein, in normal and neoplastic human kidney.
2006 Oct
cAMP mediates ammonia-induced programmed cell death in the microglial cell line BV-2.
2007 Apr
Non-convulsive status epilepticus secondary to valproic acid-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy.
2007 Aug
Encephalopathy and cerebral edema in the setting of acute liver failure: pathogenesis and management.
Role of angiotensin II in the enhancement of ammonia production and secretion by the proximal tubule in metabolic acidosis.
2008 Apr
Encapsulation of glutamine synthetase in mouse erythrocytes: a new procedure for ammonia detoxification.
2008 Dec
Ammonia metabolism capacity of HepG2 cells with high expression of human glutamine synthetase.
2008 Dec
Ammonia inhibits the C-type natriuretic peptide-dependent cyclic GMP synthesis and calcium accumulation in a rat brain endothelial cell line.
2008 May
The effects of CO2 and external buffering on ammonia excretion and Rhesus glycoprotein mRNA expression in rainbow trout.
2008 Oct
Collecting duct-specific Rh C glycoprotein deletion alters basal and acidosis-stimulated renal ammonia excretion.
2009 Jun
Ammonia transport in cultured gill epithelium of freshwater rainbow trout: the importance of Rhesus glycoproteins and the presence of an apical Na+/NH4+ exchange complex.
2009 Mar
Protein kinase G is involved in ammonia-induced swelling of astrocytes.
2009 May
In vivo monitoring of extracellular 13N-glutamine derived from blood-borne 13N-ammonia in rat striatum using microdialysis with radio-LC method.
2009 Oct 30
Ammonia toxicity to the brain: effects on creatine metabolism and transport and protective roles of creatine.
Effect of intercalated cell-specific Rh C glycoprotein deletion on basal and metabolic acidosis-stimulated renal ammonia excretion.
2010 Aug
[Ammonia as a cause for hepatic encephalopathy].
2010 Feb
NHE4 is critical for the renal handling of ammonia in rodents.
2010 Jun
Ammonia and proinflammatory cytokines modify expression of genes coding for astrocytic proteins implicated in brain edema in acute liver failure.
2010 Mar
Glutamine synthetase in muscle is required for glutamine production during fasting and extrahepatic ammonia detoxification.
2010 Mar 26
Role of the Rhesus glycoprotein, Rh B glycoprotein, in renal ammonia excretion.
2010 Nov
Increased Na, K-ATPase alpha2 isoform gene expression by ammonia in astrocytes and in brain in vivo.
2010 Nov
[Effect of jianpi yiqi qingyou decoction on lymphocyte subsets and IL-2 mRNA in gastric tissue in rats with chronic superficial gastritis].
2011 Apr
Resveratrol prevents ammonia toxicity in astroglial cells.
Combined effects of high environmental ammonia, starvation and exercise on hormonal and ion-regulatory response in goldfish (Carassius auratus L.).
2012 Jun 15
High brain ammonia tolerance and down-regulation of Na+:K+:2Cl(-) Cotransporter 1b mRNA and protein expression in the brain of the Swamp Eel, Monopterus albus, exposed to environmental ammonia or terrestrial conditions.
Molecular characterization of branchial aquaporin 1aa and effects of seawater acclimation, emersion or ammonia exposure on its mRNA expression in the gills, gut, kidney and skin of the freshwater climbing perch, Anabas testudineus.
Lipoic acid protects C6 cells against ammonia exposure through Na⁺-K⁺-Cl⁻ co-transporter and PKC pathway.
2013 Oct
Ammonia impairs glutamatergic communication in astroglial cells: protective role of resveratrol.
2015 Dec

Sample Use Guides

Solutions for intravenous infusion should not exceed a concentration of 1% to 2% of Ammonium Chloride. Dosage is dependent upon the condition and tolerance of the patient. It is recommended that the contents of one to two vials (100 to 200 mEq) be added to 500 or 1000 mL of isotonic (0.9%) sodium chloride injection. The rate of intravenous infusion should not exceed 5 mL per minute in adults (approximately 3 hours for infusion of 1000 mL). Dosage should be monitored by repeated serum bicarbonate determinations.
Route of Administration: Intravenous
HepG2 is a human HCC line purchased from ATCC and was cultured in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) supplemented with 20 % fetal bovine serum (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA). HCC cells were treated with rapamycin (100 mkM) as an autophagy inducer and ammonium chloride (NH4Cl, 10mkM) as an autophagy inhibitor. NH4Cl inhibited rapamycin-induced autophagy in HCC cells.
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Classification Tree Code System Code
LOINC 1845-7
Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021
LOINC 1844-0
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LOINC 14599-5
Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021
Code System Code Type Description
Ammonium cation
Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021
Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021
Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021
EPA CompTox
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Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021
Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021
Created by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021 , Edited by admin on Sat Jun 26 05:02:52 UTC 2021