Health Guide

Hydrochloric acid

What is it?

Hydrochloric acid is the same acid that is used in the stomach to help digest food. It is used as a supplement for low stomach acid that is said to impact a variety of diseases. A list of these diseases include: acne rosacea, anemia, bronchial asthma, depression, dermatitis herpetiformis, diabetes mellitus, eczema, gall bladder disease, infection, low iron, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, periodontal (gum) disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, seborrheic dermatitis, urticaria, and vitiligo.

Other names for Hydrochloric acid include: HCL and Betaine Hydrochloride.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Hydrochloric acid you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Hydrochloric acid. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Hydrochloric Acid, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • A warm sensation in stomach has been reported (1)


1. Murray, MT, Pizzorno J: Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine 2nd ed. Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA; 1998.

2. Johnson L, Eckardt R: Rosacea keratitis and conditions with vascularizaiton of the cornea treated with riboflavin. Arch Ophthalmal 1940;23:899.

3. Brown WH, Smith M, McLachlan AD: Fractional gastric analysis in diseases of the skin: Further observation in 316 cases, with special reference to rosacea. Brit J Dermatol Syph 1935;47:181.

4. Ryle JA, Barber HW. Gastric analysis in acne rosacea. Lancet 1920;2:1195-1196.

5. Allison JR: The relation of hydrochloric acid and vitamin B complex in certain skin diseases. Southern Med J 1945; 38:235-241.

6. Jacobs A, Rhodes J, Peters DK et al: Gastric acidity and iron absorption. Brit J Haematol 1966;12:728-36.

7. Jacobs P, Bothwell T & Charlton RW: Role of hydrochloric acid in iron absorption. J App Physiol 1964;19(2):187-188.

8. Rabinowich IM : Achlorhydria and its clinical significance in diabetes mellitus. Am J Dig Dis 1949;16:322-332.

9. Bray GW: The Hypochlorhydria of asthma of childhood. Quart J Med 1931;24:181-197.

10. Gillespie M: Hypochlorhydria in asthma with special reference to the age incidence. Quart J Med 1935; 4:397-405.

11. Hartung EF, Steinbrocker O: Gastric acidity in chronic arthritis. Ann Int Med 1935;9:252-257.

12. DeWitte TJ, Geerdink CB, Lamers et al: Hypochlorhydria and hypergastrinemia in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheumatic Dis 1979;38:14-17.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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