After searching the web for the answer, which proved to be quite
difficult, I think I may have your answer. However, undeterred I did a
few simple searches based around Drugs, Medicines and Hydrochloric
Acid. What was difficult was cutting through the swathes of
information on indigestion and illicit drug production stories.
It is quite simple actually although finding the answer proved to be
quite a task. Essentially the Hydrochloric Acid is there to aid the
adsorption of molecules that the body may not usually take on board.
This would explain the need for Hydrochloric Acid to be present in a
This site I found has the relevant quote:
[ http://www.eurochlor.org/chlorine/issues/health.htm ]
"Furthermore, hydrochloric acid is used to aid the adsorption of
molecules that the body would not otherwise adsorb."
"Chlorine plays an important part in the manufacture of medicines -
85% use chlorine chemistry, either in their final formulation or as
part of the manufacturing process."
I found another interesting piece of information that says that it is
used in the production of Cocaine. The drug is combined with
Hydrochloric Acid to make it soluble in water. Essentially this would
appear to be a similar mechanism to that of aiding absorption by the
[ http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/c4rpt/appb.htm ]
Hydrochloric Acid is added to the Coca Paste in Hydrochloric Acid,
creating a salt that is readily dissolvable. Again this would to aid
absorption much like how other drugs use Hydrochloric Acid.
Essentially if my chemistry serves me correctly the HCl is used to
create a soluble salt of the medicine which can then be taken up by
the body through the digestive system.
I hope that helps to confirm your thoughts on what HCl is used for in
Search Terms Used:
Making Medicines Hydrochloric Acid
Hydrochloric Acid Drug Production