In chemistry, hydrochlorides are salts resulting, or regarded as resulting, from the reaction of hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

 with an organic base
Base (chemistry)
For the term in genetics, see base A base in chemistry is a substance that can accept hydrogen ions or more generally, donate electron pairs. A soluble base is referred to as an alkali if it contains and releases hydroxide ions quantitatively...

 (mostly amine
Amines are organic compounds and functional groups that contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair. Amines are derivatives of ammonia, wherein one or more hydrogen atoms have been replaced by a substituent such as an alkyl or aryl group. Important amines include amino acids, biogenic amines,...

s). This is also known as muriate, derived from hydrochloric acid's other name: muriatic acid.

For example, reaction of pyridine
Pyridine is a basic heterocyclic organic compound with the chemical formula C5H5N. It is structurally related to benzene, with one C-H group replaced by a nitrogen atom...

 (C5H5N) with hydrochloric acid (HCl) yields pyridine hydrochloride (C5H5N·HCl). Even though this style of formula is often used for denoting the hydrochlorides, the dot incorrectly implies that the two molecules are weakly bonded together; rather, what is present is the salt C5H5NH+ Cl- with the correct chemical name pyridinium chloride
Pyridinium refers to the cationic form of pyridine. This can either be due to protonation of the ring nitrogen or because of addition of a substituent to the ring nitrogen, typically via alkylation. The lone pair of electrons on the nitrogen atom of pyridine is not delocalized, and thus pyridine...


Hydrochloric salts are most often referred to by using the name of the base, then simply tagging on hydrochloride or HCl. For example, while crack cocaine
Crack cocaine
Crack cocaine is the freebase form of cocaine that can be smoked. It may also be termed rock, hard, iron, cavvy, base, or just crack; it is the most addictive form of cocaine. Crack rocks offer a short but intense high to smokers...

 is the freebase of cocaine, the salt form is often referred to as cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...



Converting insoluble amines into hydrochlorides is a common way to make them water- and acid-soluble
Solubility is the property of a solid, liquid, or gaseous chemical substance called solute to dissolve in a solid, liquid, or gaseous solvent to form a homogeneous solution of the solute in the solvent. The solubility of a substance fundamentally depends on the used solvent as well as on...

. This is particularly desirable for substances used in medications. Many pharmaceutical substances are prepared as hydrochlorides so that they may be quickly released in the gastrointestinal tract; the body usually absorbs a hydrochloride within fifteen or thirty minutes.
Very often hydrochlorides of amines have longer shelf-lives than their respective free bases.

Examples of hydrochlorides in medical uses are many, ranging from over-the-counter
Over-the-counter drug
Over-the-counter drugs are medicines that may be sold directly to a consumer without a prescription from a healthcare professional, as compared to prescription drugs, which may be sold only to consumers possessing a valid prescription...

 sinus relief to antidepressants.
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