Skip to Content


Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Crospovidone (cross linked polyvinyl N-pyrrolidone, or PVP) is a common, FDA-approved inactive ingredient used in the pharmaceutical industry. Crospovidone is often combined with active ingredients in medications and dietary supplements to allow absorption of the active drug. It is considered a synthetic povidone analog.

Chemically, crospovidone is an inert and insoluble white to light yellow free-flowing powder. It has hygroscopic, or water-attracting properties with excellent swelling characteristics. It is this swelling characteristic that makes it useful as a disintegrant in pharmaceutical dosage forms.[1] Crospovidone is not absorbed orally.

Oral use of crospovidone is not usually associated with toxicity in normal use as a pharmaceutical excipient. Pulmonary emboli have been reported in autopsies of intravenous drug abusers who have crushed tablets, such as hydromorphone, for injection. The long-term effects of crospovidone in the lung are unknown.[2] Allergic reactions have also been reported with the use of povidone-iodine (Betadine®) as a topical antiseptic.

[1] [1]Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008 Accessed 08/19/2011

[2] Ganesan S., Felo J., Saldana M. Embolized Crospovidone (poly[N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone]) in the Lungs of Intravenous Drug Users. Mod Pathol 2003;16(4):286–92

Top Medications with this excipient