Potassium Butyrate
May 10, 2019
Potassium Chloride
May 10, 2019
Show all

Potassium Bromide

Muby Chemicals established in the year 1976, is pioneer in Manufacturing Chemicals for Oil and Gas Exploration, Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) and coiled tube Chemicals.Our advanced chemistry leading to an innovative and high-performance product range is coupled with effective on and off site management services.

We are manufacturer of Specialty chemicals, Pharmaceutical Excipients, Fragrance & Flavorchemicals in India, which are of IP, BP, USP, Ph. Eur., FCC or Food Grade, ACS, AR or Analytical Reagent Grade, LR or Laboratory Reagent Grade, Pure and Technical Grades of various chemicals.


Specifications of Commercial Pure Potassium Bromide

Assay: 99.0% KBr
pH of a 5% solution: 4.5.0-9 at 25C
Insoluble matter: 0.05%
Loss on drying: 0.5% max
Chloride: 0.5% max

Potassium bromide (KBr) is a salt, widely used as an anticonvulsant and a sedative in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. KBr’s action is due to the bromide ion (sodium bromide is equally effective). It is presently used as a veterinary drug, as an antiepileptic medication for dogs and cats. KBr is a white crystalline powder, soluble in water. In a dilute aqueous solution, it tastes sweet, at higher concentration it tastes bitter and when more concentrated, KBr tastes salty to humans (these effects are due mainly to potassium ion; sodium bromide merely tastes salty at all concentrations). In high concentration KBr strongly irritates the gastric mucous membrane, leading to nausea and sometimes vomiting (again this effect is typical of all soluble potassium salts).

It is used extensively in photography. It is also sometimes used as a bromide source in organic synthesis, since it is less hygroscopic than sodium bromide. In the laboratory KBr is commonly used in infrared spectroscopy. The sample to be tested is crushed up with a large excess of KBr and then the mixture is crushed to form a tablet which is inserted into the spectrophotometer.

Medical and Veterinary

The anticonvulsant properties of KBr were first noted by Sir Charles Locock at a meeting of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society in 1857. Bromide can be regarded as the first effective medication for epilepsy. At the time, it was commonly thought that epilepsy was caused by masturbation. Locock noted that bromide calmed sexual excitement and thought this was responsible for his success in treating seizures. There would not be a better drug for epilepsy until phenobarbital in 1912. It was often said the British Army laced the soldiers’ tea with bromide to quell sexual arousal, however because doing so would also diminish alertness in battle it is likely to be an urban legend and similar stories were also told about a number of substances.

Potassium bromide is used to treat epilepsy in dogs, either as first-line treatment or in addition to phenobarbital when the seizures are not adequately controlled with phenobarbital alone. Use of bromide in cats is limited because it carries a substantial risk of causing lung inflammation (pneumonitis) in this species.

KBr is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans to control seizures. In Germany KBr continues to be approved for use as an antiepileptic drug for humans, particularly children and adolescents. These indications include severe forms of generalized tonic-clonic seizures, early-childhood-related Grand-Mal-seizures, and also severe myoclonic seizures during childhood. Adults who have reacted positively to the drug during childhood/adolescence may continue treatment. KBr is sold under the brand name Dibro-Be mono (RX-only). When used for proper indications it shows promising results. The drug has almost complete bioavailability and an extremely long half-life of 6 weeks. One tablet contains 850 mg of potassium bromide. It is not known to interfere with the absorption or excretion of any other anticonvulsant.

The therapeutic index is very small for bromide. As with other antiepileptics, sometimes even therapeutic doses give rise to intoxication. Often indistinguishable from ‘expected’ side-effects, these include:

Loss of appetite, nausea/emesis, lethargy, propensity to sleep during the daytime, depression, loss of concentration and memory, confusion, headache, and Bromism (central reactions reaching from somnolence to coma, cachexia, exicosis, loss of reflexes or pathologic reflexes, clonic seizures, tremor, ataxia, loss of neural sensitivity, paresis, papillar edema of the eyes, abnormal speech, cerebral edema, delirium, aggressiveness, psychoses), Acne-form dermatitis and other forms of skin disease may also be seen, as well as mucous hypersecretion in the lungs. Asthma and rhinitis may worsen. Rarely, tongue disorder, aphten, bad breath, and obstipation occur.


KBr is transparent from the near ultraviolet to long wave infrared wavelengths (0.25-25 µm). It has no significant optical absorption lines in its high transmission region. It is used for optical windows and prisms. It must be kept in a dry environment due to high solubility and hygroscopic nature. The refractive index is about 1.55 at 1.0 µm.

In infrared spectroscopy, samples are analyzed by grinding with KBr powder, and pressing into a disc. Alternatively, the samples may be analyzed as a liquid film (neat, as a solution, or in a mull with Nujol) between two polished KBr discs.