Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) is the sodium salt of carbonic acid. Sodium carbonate is also known as sal soda, washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals. It exists as a white powder, absorbs moisture from the air, and forms a strong alkaline aqueous solution. Sodium carbonate is commonly used as a water softener and is used to make glass. Sodium carbonate can exist in nature from the ashes of certain plants, and also can be derived synthetically in the lab from sodium chloride (salt) and limestone via the well-known Solvay process. Sodium carbonate is commonly used in chemical reactions in the pharmaceutical industry as part of acid-base reactions. Sodium carbonate may also be found in toothpastes as an abrasive, in water softeners used for laundry, in automatic diswasher soaps, and some bubble bath solutions. Sodium carbonate monohydrate, (Na2CO3 H2O) has an added molecule of water and is also used as a buffer.