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What is the full form of ORS

ORS: Oral Rehydration Salt

ORS full form

ORS stands for Oral Rehydration Salt. It is the composition of components like [NACL] Sodium chloride, sodium citrate, potassium chloride, sugar, and glucose. Excessive loss of electrolytes causes dehydration; sodium chloride balances the electrolyte in the body; it works on the nervous system, blood pressure, and vascular activity, so whenever the body throws out the electrolytic fluids come out, and thus the body needs appropriate electrolytes, it's recommended to have ORS. If, in any case, there is no availability of ORS, then there are many alternatives to it; this alternative can be made with the ingredients available in the kitchen. Lime water can also be taken as it contains citric acid and potassium, which is also present in the ORS, with a proper amount of salt [sodium chloride] and sugar [dextrose] in it, which also help to boost the count of electrolyte as it tastes better than ORS but didn't fulfil all the needs required.

Uses of ORS

  1. To restore electrolytes and body fluids to recover the loss of dehydration.
  2. In gastrointestinal tract disorders such as diarrhoea and vomiting, in both conditions, the electrolyte and body fluids decrease at a faster rate. Thus, ORS is recommended.
  3. Lack of water or electrolyte causes cramps in the muscle.
  4. Acidosis is when the PH level of blood turns acidic, and to neutralise it, ORS is recommended.
  5. Boost the energy level of the body.

Direction Of Uses

  1. Take the amount of drinking water indicated on the packet and dissolve the content of the packet in it.
  2. Stir well so that all the ingredients can be mixed well, and then drink it.
  3. Always remember, make a fresh drink every time
  4. Never keep the solution for more than 24 hours, as bacteria can grow in this solution.

Uses of ORS For Athletes

  • Athletes use ORS to recover the loss of electrolytes and body fluids which are lost through excessive perspiration as well as thirst.
  • ORS is used when a patient is unable to take food before or after surgery
  • ORS is used for the preparation of the ringer's solution.


WHO adopted ORS in 1978 as it is a primary tool to fight diarrhoea, and the mortality rate for children suffering from acute diarrhoea has fallen from 5 million to 1.3 million deaths annually. WHO and UNICEF recommend formulas 1 and 2 for the control of diarrhoea. Zinc is an important element in diarrhoea control. Zinc increases gut mucosa regeneration, therefore promoting healing and thus recovery. Zn inhibits the mechanics causing increased adenyl cyclase activity. [adenyl cyclase causes an increase in secretions in GIT.]

Dose of Zn

<6 months age = 10 mg/day

>6 months age =20mg/day

For 14 Days

The Old Formula of ORS [According to WHO]

Sodium Chloride 3.5g

Potassium Chloride 1.5g

Trisodium citrate, Dihydrate 2.9g

Glucose Anhydrous 20.0g

The New Formula of ORS [According to WHO]

Sodium Chloride 2.6g

Potassium chloride 1.5g

Trisodium citrate, Dihydrate 2.9g

Glucose Anhydrous 13.5g

Other Uses of ORS Are As Follows

  1. Ringer's solution
  2. Sodium Chloride solution - 0.9%nof NaCl
  3. Intra peritoneal dialysis solution
  4. Concentrated hemodialysis solution

A precise combination of ingredients proven to relieve dehydration fast, no extra sugar, no extra nothing, how? A team of molecules work together, such as zinc, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and glucose, to replenish cells; for example, Sodium [ a key electrolyte]; our cells desperately need sodium. Still, without the precise combination of a lot of electrolytes and glucose, the sodium can't get through the small intestine; that's where the molecular team comes in; known as a sodium-glucose co-transport system, the salt and glucose get through leaving the gate open for water and another electrolyte like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, a mixture formulated to taste good and absorb quickly and restore health.

ORS Side Effects

Sometimes excessive use of it can also cause some side effects.

The possible side effects could be;

  • Dizziness
  • Unusual weakness
  • Swelling ankles
  • Restlessness
  • Rashes

If any of these occur for a longer period, then do contact your doctor.

Can We Take Glucose in Place of ORS?

In summers, Glucose is taken in a large quantity as supplement energy. Does glucose provide energy? Or it's the hype created by television advertisements; let's look closer at the components of it; the key ingredients are Sucrose [56%], Glucose [40%], and Calcium. Sucrose is a type of sugar, and calcium is a mineral that can only help for a temporary period; thus, it does not contain any electrolyte or supplement of energy. It can be used in hypoglycemia, where there is a decreased level of sugar

And if it is taken daily, then it can result in an increased level of sugar, and it is a hypertonic solution which can lead to more urination and can end up being dehydrated. It can also lead to weight gain when the body is exposed to the sunlight in summer, sweat is being released, in this case, there is no role of sugar solution, here we need electrolytes, and it can be provided by ORS ad energy, ORS is used when someone is suffering from dehydrating, vomiting, loose motions.

Can We Take ORS / GLUCON-D During a Workout?

ORS- When we work out vigorously, we lose a lot of water and electrolyte through sweat, and thus it needs to be replenished. Thus ORS can be taken to recover the loss of electrolytes, and if the recovery has not been done due to any reason, then you can feel dizziness and fatigue.

Glucon-D - During the workout, if you take glucose, then there will be a hike in the insulin level; thus, it will decrease the level of electrolytes in the body, it curves down your anabolic hormones in the body, leading to the decreased fat loss process. During a workout, you need a balanced level of insulin.

Is It Good For The People Who Have Diabetes?

It should be used in a minimised manner with patients of sugar as it can lead to many problems for them; if you are consuming the tetra pack, then it should contain only 2.7g of dextrose [glucose]; the quantity is limited, so it should be consumed carefully

The patient of heart or pancreas should not consume it, and even if taken, it should be under a doctor's supervision.

How Much Electoral To Drink In a Day?

The frequency of consuming it may depend upon the problem with the body as the electoral is taken with water; though you can take it 1-3 times a day, this dosage may differ according to the requirements of the body.

Can Electoral Be Taken Empty Stomach?

For a better result, it's advised that you should always eat food before consuming electoral because when the food is being absorbed in the blood, it works more efficiently

Can Too Much Electoral Raises Blood Pressure?

Electoral is high in potassium and sodium, and these are electrolytes that help the body maintain fluid and blood volume so that it can function normally; thus, consuming more of it results in a rise in bloodpressure; salt and sodium are not the same things but are used interchangeably. Salt [Sodium Chloride] is a crystal-like compound that is common in nature, and Sodium is a mineral, one of the chemical elements found in salt.

Can We Freeze ORS?

Freezing the ORS will disbalance the composition

What Is The Osmolarity Of ORS?

WHO has recommended the standard formulation of glucose-based ORS with 90mmol/l of sodium and 111 mmol/l of glucose and a total osmolarity of 311mmol/l

Storage, Stability, Degradation

If ORS is properly packed and sealed, then the temperature/humidity or heat will not degrade its composition. Shelf life is of 2-3 years, depending upon the manufacturer, and it's recommended to check the product label before using it. The solution should not be kept longer than 24 hours.

The Rice-Based ORS

In earlier times, rice water was cooked for at least 10 minutes and then added a little amount of salt, identical to those recommended by WHO. Some studies say that they used popped rice in place of cooked rice.

Switzerland developed this in close collaboration with a company, and this method has also been used with different cereals, including wheat, maise, and millet. In fewer studies, the results are moreover similar to the rice-based ORS. A clinical trial has been conducted comparing the efficiency and safety of rice-based ORS with the standard ORS solution of WHO.

A joint WHO/ICDDR, B consultative meeting on ORS formulation, held in DHAKA from 10-12 December 1994, reviewed the results of these trials; based on that review, it was concluded that;

- Standard ORS is superior when compared with rice-based ORS in terms of treating children with acute non-cholera diarrhoea, especially when food is given shortly.

- Rice-based ORS is superior to standard ORS for adults and children with cholera and may be used to treat such patients wherever its preparation is convenient.

The Stability Of Rice-Based ORS

Rice is high in fat content, and it can be rancid; that's why the theoretical shelf life of rice-based ORS is around one year. Appropriate quality aluminium laminate is required to protect it from humidity and contamination. Polythene is only considered when the product is prepared for immediate use.

The ORS In Liquid OR Tablet Form

UNICEF and WHO primarily concentrated their effort during the last decade on ORS in powder form. In collaboration with the department of paediatrics of the University of Lund, Sweden, we offered to evaluate the production of ORS in aseptic packages and to develop a method to sterilise liquid ORS, and the aim was to make the availability of ORS where the water supply is problematic.

With the support of the CDD program, The program for appropriate technology in health [PATH] developed ORS in tablet form. The manufacturing guideline became available in 1983. The formulation of the tablet compiles with that recommended by WHO/UNICEF but contains excipients that are needed to compress the product.

As ORS in tablet form increases the cost of ORT and may have programmatic implications, both organisations have so far refrained from recommending its use in the public health system. However, provided that clear institutions for its preparation and use are given. ORS tablets are seen as an acceptable alternative in the private sector

How To Know If The Person Is Suffering From Dehydration?

Feel by pinching the skin of the abdomen

  1. Lying flat with the back, hands, and legs straight
  2. Use your first finger and thumb to locate the abdomen halfway between the umbilicus and the side of the abdomen, do not use your finger as it will cause pain, the fold of the skin should be in a line-up and down the body.
  3. Please pick up all the layers of skin and the tissues underneath them.
  4. Hold the pinch for one second, then release it.
  5. Look to see if the skin pinch goes very slowly, but not immediately if the skin stays up for even a brief time after you realise it. Decide that the skin pinch goes back slowly

Limitations Of The Present ORS Formulation

ORT, with the current ORS formula, does not reduce the volume, frequency, or duration of diarrhoea. This raises the practical problem of its acceptance since a major concern of mothers and health workers during diarrhoea is to reduce the frequency and volume of the child's stool. This leads to a persistent desire to use anti-diarrheal drugs.

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