Oral rehydration salts, ORS

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel


What is oral rehydration salts (ORS) used for?

Oral rehydration salts are primarily indicated in conditions, such as acute infectious diarrhea, dehydration, diarrhea, fluid and electrolyte loss in diarrhea, fluid depletion, dehydration of patient with burns.

Oral rehydration salts do not treat diarrhea, but they replace the salts and water that are lost, and so reduce the effects of dehydration.

How should I take oral rehydration salts (ORS)?

Oral powder: open the sachet and pour the contents into 200 mL of tap water (this must be cooled boiled water for babies aged under 1 year). Stir well until all the powder has gone and the mixture is clear or just slightly cloudy. Make sure your child drinks the full dose needed. If they cannot drink it all in one go, they can drink it over about 30 minutes. It may help to use a straw.

Do not keep the solution for more than one hour at room temperature. If you keep it in a fridge you can keep it for 24 hours.

Oral rehydration salts are usually given after each runny poo (diarrhea).

Your doctor will work out the amount of oral rehydration salts (the dose) that is right for your child. If you have bought them from your pharmacy, the dose will be shown on the medicine label. Encourage your child to drink as much as they can of the recommended dose.

How do I store oral rehydration salts (ORS)?

Oral rehydration salts are best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store oral rehydration salts in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of oral rehydration salts that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush oral rehydration salts down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using oral rehydration salts (ORS)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of oral rehydration salts or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using this medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from oral rehydration salts (ORS)?

If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with oral rehydration salts (ORS)?

Oral rehydration salts may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with oral rehydration salts (ORS)?

Oral rehydration salts may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with oral rehydration salts (ORS)?

Oral rehydration salts may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Especially if you have:


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using oral rehydration salts (ORS).

What is the dose of oral rehydration salts (ORS) for an adult?

The recommended dose is 200 to 400 Ml, orally, during 24 hours.

What is the dose of oral rehydration salts (ORS) for a child?

Pediatric > 20 kg and neonatal > 3kg

The recommended dose is 28 Ml to 57 Ml/kg, orally, during 24hours.

How is oral rehydration salts (ORS) available?

Oral rehydration salts are available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Oral powder

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of oral rehydration salts, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: May 9, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019

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