Aluminum sulfate



Aluminum sulfate is a medication used to prevent infections and to treat minor bleeding.

Brand Names
Generic Name
Aluminum sulfate
DrugBank Accession Number

Aluminum (Al), also spelled aluminum, chemical element, a lightweight, silvery-white metal of main Group 13 (IIIa, or boron group) of the periodic table 9.

It is a chemical agent used in water purification, the pH regulation of garden soil, and other commercial or industrial applications. Medically, it is primarily used as a coagulating agent in minor cuts and abrasions as well as deodorant 5.

Aluminum (Al) is ubiquitous and represents the third most common element in the Earth’s crust. It most commonly exists in a combined state with various other elements. Al is found in materials used in the pharmaceutical industry, and in manufactured foodstuffs, cosmetics, and tap water. By overcoming the body barriers, Al may infiltrate into the blood and lead to toxic effects in liver, bone and the central nervous system 6.

Small Molecule
Average: 342.151
Monoisotopic: 341.818264416
Chemical Formula
  • Aluminium sulfate
  • Aluminium sulfate anhydrous
  • Aluminum sulfate anhydrous
  • Aluminum sulphate anhydrous
  • Dialuminum sulfate
  • Dialuminum trisulfate
External IDs
  • E-520
  • INS NO.520
  • INS-520



Solutions containing 5 to 10% aluminum sulfate have been used as local applications to ulcers and to arrest foul discharges from mucous surfaces. Aluminum sulfate is also used in the preparation of aluminum acetate ear drops 10. It is often purchased over the counter and is available in solid stick or powder form for minor cuts and abrasions after shaving 16, 21. Aluminum sulfate is also used as an adjuvant in vaccines 17.

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Associated Conditions
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Aluminum sulfate may be used as a deodorant, as well as an astringent 19. Aluminum sulfate is also known as an astringent. Astringents are substances that cause contraction or shrinkage of tissues and that dry up secretion 19.

Used as a post-shaving treatment, it can eliminate bleeding from superficial wounds 16, 21.

It has also shown in vitro anti-microbial activity 19.

Mechanism of action

When used as a deodorant, the volume of sweat produced is reduced by narrowing sweat ducts. The inhibition of body odor causing bacteria is another important strategy for deodorization 19.

By inhibiting or deactivating odor-producing bacteria, there is little to none metabolism of sweat components thus decreasing the occurrence of body odor 19.

Recent studies suggest that the active binding of alum to the membranes of dendritic cells (DCs) result in alteration of lipid membranes structures as a key process in alum's adjuvant effect in vaccines. As new adjuvants are being developed, alum may remain as an ingredient of adjuvant combinations, or it may eventually be supplemented by other agents that more effectively provide depot and local inflammatory responses to accentuate host immune responses 17.


The degree of aluminum absorption depends on a number of factors, such as the aluminum salt ingested, pH (for aluminum speciation and solubility), bioavailability, as well as dietary conditions 10.

These facts should be taken into consideration during tissue dosimetry and response assessment to aluminum sulfate. It can be concluded that the use of currently available animal studies to develop a guideline value is inappropriate at this time due to the above specific toxicokinetic/dynamic factors that may affect results 10.

Volume of distribution

Aluminium which is absorbed is located primarily in the heart, spleen, and bone 12.

Protein binding

Not Available

Not Available
Route of elimination

Aluminum is excreted predominantly via the kidneys and therefore may accumulate in patients with renal failure 14. About 2% is excreted in bile 16.


Numerous studies have actually shown that the rate of aluminum clearance in the blood decreases with time following aluminum ingestion, and therefore a single elimination half-life (t1⁄2) cannot depict the whole-body elimination of aluminum 15.


Not Available

Adverse Effects
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Aluminum Sulfate, Hydrated (ACS & FCC): ORAL (LD50): Acute: >9000 mg/kg in the mouse MSDS. >9000 mg/kg in the rat MSDS.

Acute Toxicity

There is little indication that aluminum is acutely toxic by oral exposure despite it is widely found in foods, drinking water, and many antacid preparations 10. In 1988, a population of about 20 000 citizens of Camelford, England, was exposed to increased levels of aluminum for 5 days. The aluminum was accidentally ingested by the population from a water supply facility using aluminum sulfate for water treatment 10.

Some adverse effects observed were nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, skin ulcers, skin rashes, and arthritis-type pain were observed. It was concluded in one study that the adverse effects of aluminum sulfate were primarily mild and transient. No long-lasting effects on health could be attributed to the exposures from aluminum in the drinking water during this period 10.

Chronic Toxicity

In humans, excess exposure to aluminum via dialysis water (aluminum sulfate) is a known etiological factor in several pathological conditions in patients treated with hemodialysis. Clinical symptoms and signs of aluminum toxicity include hypercalcemia, anemia, vitamin D refractory osteodystrophy, and a dialysis encephalopathy. Bone pain, pathological fractures, and proximal myopathy may occur. Aluminum has also been suggested as an etiology of several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer senile and pre-senile dementia, as well amyotrophic sclerosis. Despite this, the most recent investigations have failed to confirm this hypothesis. A study in man has verified a number of possible deleterious interactions of aluminum salts with phosphorous metabolism, especially in long-term ingestion of aluminum-containing antacids 12.

It has been suggested that aluminum exposure is a risk factor for the development or acceleration of onset of Alzheimer disease (AD) in humans. The world health organization has completed a meta-analysis of 20 epidemiological studies done to test the hypothesis that aluminum in drinking-water is a risk factor for Alzheimer disease. Six studies on populations in Norway were considered of sufficiently high quality to meet the general criteria for exposure and outcome assessment and the adjustment for at least some confounding variables 10.

Of six studies that examined the relationship between aluminum in drinking- water and dementia, three found a positive relationship, but three did not. However, each of the studies had significant deficiencies in the study design (e.g. ecological exposure assessment; failure to consider aluminum exposure from all sources and to control for important confounders, such as education, socioeconomic status, and family history; the use of surrogate outcome measures for AD; and selection bias) 10.

In general, the relative risks determined were less than 2, with large confidence intervals, when the total aluminum concentration in drinking-water was 0.1 mg/L or higher. Due to the pathogenesis of AD and knowledge obtained from studies, it was concluded that the present epidemiological evidence does not support a causal association between AD and aluminum in drinking-water 10.

In addition to the epidemiological studies that examined the relationship between AD and aluminum in drinking-water, two studies studied cognitive dysfunction in elderly populations in relation to the levels of aluminum in drinking water. The results proved conflicting. A study of 800 male subjects, age 80-89, drinking water containing aluminum concentrations up to 98 μg/L found no relationship. The second study used “any evidence of mental impairment” as an outcome measure and found a relative risk of 1.72 at aluminum drinking-water concentrations above 85 μg/L in 250 males. Such data are insufficient to show that aluminum is a cause of cognitive impairment in the elderly 10.

Note on possible risk of breast cancer

Widespread concern has been raised regarding the exposure to aluminum in deodorant/antiperspirant products, with inconclusive results 22, 23, 24, 25. Results from a more recent case-control study suggest an association between underarm cosmetic use and aluminum concentration in breast tissue and breast cancer. The observed association of underarm cosmetic use with breast cancer was, however, limited to women who report using the products multiple times a day before age of 30 4.

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
CarbamazepineAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Carbamazepine resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
Chenodeoxycholic acidAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Chenodeoxycholic acid resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
Cholic AcidAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Cholic Acid resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
DeferasiroxAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Deferasirox resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
Dehydrocholic acidAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Dehydrocholic acid resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
Deoxycholic acidAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Deoxycholic acid resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
DolutegravirThe serum concentration of Dolutegravir can be decreased when it is combined with Aluminum sulfate.
EltrombopagAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Eltrombopag resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
HalofantrineAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Halofantrine resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
MephenytoinAluminum sulfate can cause a decrease in the absorption of Mephenytoin resulting in a reduced serum concentration and potentially a decrease in efficacy.
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Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Product Ingredients
IngredientUNIICASInChI Key
Aluminum sulfate hydrate34S289N54E17927-65-0BUACSMWVFUNQET-UHFFFAOYSA-H
Aluminum sulfate tetradecahydrateE3UT66504P16828-12-9GUNGYIXTFIIJDK-UHFFFAOYSA-H
Active Moieties
Aluminum cationionic3XHB1D032B22537-23-1REDXJYDRNCIFBQ-UHFFFAOYSA-N
Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Pascord 7 0.48mg/2.54cmPacking0.48 mg / 2.54 cmDentalPascal International Corporation1992-12-311998-07-23Canada flag
Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
AssuredPowder56 g/100gTopicalGreenbrier International, Inc.2016-04-20Not applicableUS flag
Gingi-Aid MAX Z-Twist 00Solution54 mg/1Dental; Oral; PeriodontalGingi-Pak a Division of the Belport1995-01-13Not applicableUS flag
Gingi-Aid MAX Z-Twist 1Solution54 mg/1Dental; Oral; PeriodontalGingi-Pak a Division of the Belport1995-01-13Not applicableUS flag
Gingi-Aid MAX Z-Twist 2Solution54 mg/1Dental; Oral; PeriodontalGingi-Pak a Division of the Belport1995-01-13Not applicableUS flag
Gingi-Aid MAX Z-Twist 3Solution54 mg/1Dental; Oral; PeriodontalGingi-Pak a Division of the Belport1998-07-31Not applicableUS flag
HIS Styptic PencilStick5.6 g/10gTopicalPacific World Corporation2002-11-01Not applicableUS flag
KutKitSwab0.05 g/1TopicalCentrix, Inc.2019-05-01Not applicableUS flag
KutKitSwab0.05 g/1TopicalMajestic Drug Co., INC.2019-05-01Not applicableUS flag
KutKitSwab0.047 g/1TopicalMajestic Drug Co., INC.2020-11-072023-12-31US flag
Nick ReliefStick46 mg/1mLTopical220 Laboratories Inc.1997-11-27Not applicableUS flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
ACETATODE ALUMINIOAluminum sulfate (51.8 mg) + Calcium acetate (36.45 mg)PowderTopicalSANOFI AVENTIS DE COLOMBIA S.A.2006-11-10Not applicableColombia flag
Aluminum Acetate AstringentAluminum sulfate hydrate (1191 mg/2030mg) + Calcium acetate (839 mg/2030mg)Powder, for solutionTopicalEpic Pharma, LLC2011-02-282013-04-30US flag
Aluminum Acetate AstringentAluminum sulfate hydrate (1191 mg/2030mg) + Calcium acetate (839 mg/2030mg)Powder, for solutionTopicalTagi Pharma Incorporated2011-06-15Not applicableUS flag
AstringentAluminum sulfate tetradecahydrate (1347 mg/2299mg) + Calcium acetate monohydrate (952 mg/2299mg)Powder, for solutionTopicalTAGI Pharma Inc.2012-06-012024-09-30US flag
DomeboroAluminum sulfate tetradecahydrate (1347 mg/1) + Calcium acetate monohydrate (952 mg/1)Powder, for solutionTopicalAdvantice Health, LLC.2012-06-26Not applicableUS flag
Kerasal Athletes Foot Rapid Symptom Relief Medicated SoakAluminum sulfate tetradecahydrate (1347 mg/1) + Calcium acetate monohydrate (952 mg/1)Powder, for solutionTopicalAdvantice Health, LLC.2012-06-26Not applicableUS flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
StyptocaineAluminum sulfate hydrate (46 g/100mL)SolutionTopicalPedinol Pharmacal, Inc.2011-09-142013-11-30US flag


Drug Categories
Chemical TaxonomyProvided by Classyfire
This compound belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as post-transition metal sulfates. These are inorganic compounds in which the largest oxoanion is sulfate, and in which the heaviest atom not in an oxoanion is a post-transition metal.
Inorganic compounds
Super Class
Mixed metal/non-metal compounds
Post-transition metal oxoanionic compounds
Sub Class
Post-transition metal sulfates
Direct Parent
Post-transition metal sulfates
Alternative Parents
Post-transition metal salts / Inorganic salts / Inorganic oxides
Inorganic oxide / Inorganic post-transition metal salt / Inorganic salt / Post-transition metal sulfate
Molecular Framework
Not Available
External Descriptors
aluminium sulfate (CHEBI:74768)
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number
InChI Key
dialuminium(3+) trisulfate


General References
  1. Wu YH, Zhou ZM, Xiong YL, Wang YL, Sun JH, Liao HB, Luo XD: Effects of aluminum potassium sulfate on learning, memory, and cholinergic system in mice. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1998 Nov;19(6):509-12. [Article]
  2. Cabus N, Oguz EO, Tufan AC, Adiguzel E: A histological study of toxic effects of aluminium sulfate on rat hippocampus. Biotech Histochem. 2015 Feb;90(2):132-9. doi: 10.3109/10520295.2014.965277. Epub 2014 Oct 14. [Article]
  3. Cunat L, Lanhers MC, Joyeux M, Burnel D: Bioavailability and intestinal absorption of aluminum in rats: effects of aluminum compounds and some dietary constituents. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2000 Jul;76(1):31-55. doi: 10.1385/BTER:76:1:31. [Article]
  4. Darbre PD: Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer. J Inorg Biochem. 2005 Sep;99(9):1912-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2005.06.001. [Article]
  5. Aluminum sulfate PubChem [Link]
  6. Aluminium sulphate exposure increases oxidative stress and suppresses brain development in Ross broiler chicks [Link]
  7. Aluminum Sulfate [Link]
  8. Aluminum Sulfate, Brittanica online [Link]
  9. Aluminum Sulfate Excipient [Link]
  10. Aluminum in Drinking Water [Link]
  11. HIS STYPTIC PENCIL- aluminum sulfate stick [Link]
  12. EMA document [Link]
  13. ToxNet, Aluminum sulfate [Link]
  14. InChem, Aluminum Sulfate [Link]
  16. Aluminium Toxicokinetics: An Updated MiniReview [Link]
  17. Aluminum Sulfate Overview [Link]
  18. Hazardous Materials Sheet, NJ [Link]
  19. Formulation and evaluation of potash alum as deodorant lotion and after shaving astringent as cream and gel [Link]
  20. Use of Underarm Cosmetic Products in Relation to Risk of Breast Cancer: A Case-Control Study [Link]
  21. ASSURED- aluminum sulfate powder [Link]
  22. Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer [Link]
  23. Underarm antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer [Link]
  25. Influence of Lifestyle Factors on Breast Cancer Risk [Link]
PubChem Compound
PubChem Substance
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage Forms
Powder, for solutionTopical
PowderTopical56 g/100g
SolutionDental; Oral; Periodontal54 mg/1
SwabTopical0.047 g/1
SwabTopical0.05 g/1
StickTopical46 mg/1mL
PackingDental0.48 mg / 2.54 cm
LiquidDental250 mg / mL
PowderTopical2.2 g
PowderTopical2.189 g
StickTopical9 mL/10mL
PackingDental1.45 mg / 2.5 cm
PackingDental0.19 mg / cm
SprayTopical373 mg / mL
GelTopical20 %
StickTopical42 %
SolutionTopical46 g/100mL
StickTopical5.6 g/10g
Not Available
Not Available


Experimental Properties
melting point (°C)700
boiling point (°C)1600
water solubility 86.9 g/ 100 mlMSDS
Predicted Properties
pKa (Strongest Acidic)-3Chemaxon
Physiological Charge-2Chemaxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count4Chemaxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0Chemaxon
Polar Surface Area80.26 Å2Chemaxon
Rotatable Bond Count0Chemaxon
Refractivity11.53 m3·mol-1Chemaxon
Polarizability5.81 Å3Chemaxon
Number of Rings0Chemaxon
Rule of FiveYesChemaxon
Ghose FilterNoChemaxon
Veber's RuleNoChemaxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemaxon
Predicted ADMET Features
Not Available


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
SpectrumSpectrum TypeSplash Key
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positive (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available
Predicted MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negative (Annotated)Predicted LC-MS/MSNot Available

Drug created at December 03, 2015 16:51 / Updated at June 08, 2023 09:16