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A white crystalline powder, potassium bromide is a very common compound. It is used in optical transmission spectroscopy because of its low refractive index and wide spectral range into the infrared with near-no absorption. It is also one of the most common beamsplitter materials in IR spectrophotometers.
KBr is a bromide salt that dissociates into ions of potassium and bromine ions (K+ and Br-) when it is dissolved in water. The bromine ions are bound to the water molecules and form a surface layer that surrounds the k+ ions.
Potassium bromide is a very popular chemical agent in the photographic plates, paper and plastic manufacturing industries. It is a heat stabilizer in nylon production and a plasticizer in many products.
It is a very strong irritant to the eyes and causes vertigo, death, and sensory disturbances when swallowed in large quantities. It can cause mania, skin rashes and hallucinations in severe cases.
In a dog or cat, it is used to treat epilepsy when the seizures are not controlled by other drugs. It is sometimes used in combination with phenobarbital.
A 3-year-old girl developed bromoderma tuberosum after being treated with a low dose of KBr for epilepsy; the symptoms disappeared after she was given a reduced amount of the drug.
KBr has been used as an anti-seizure drug in human and animal medicine for more than 100 years. However, it comes with a lot of side effects and is therefore only used in extremely rare cases.