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I see that quite a lot of drugs and dietary supplements sold in the USA have -HCl(hydrochloride) added to their name. For example pyridoxine hydrochloride for Vitamin B6. I'm interested in knowing where in the digestive system -HCl compounds are absorbed? Is it in the stomach?

It would also help if I get a rough idea of how long it takes for -HCl supplements to be absorbed. Is it an hour or more?

Thank you for your input!

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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The hydrochloride ions are not what facilitate their absorption into the body. The HCl notation is from organic chemical reactions of a weak base (usually amines are involved here) with HCl to form a salt. The salt is what gets purified as a powder (otherwise the chemical remains in solution and can't be made into a pill/supplement). The bottle may say: "compound-HCl" or "compound HCl" implying that the two are chemically bonded together, but that is incorrect. What actually happens is that the compound is an ionic salt, in the form [compound]H+ Cl-. As far as absorption, that is entirely dependent on the compound(s) being absorbed. Once you swallow them, they dissociate back into the weak acid form and H+,Cl- ions.

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