Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is Glycerin?
Glycerin (C3H8O3), also known as glycerol and glycerine, is an odorless, colorless, oily, viscous liquid that has a sweet taste.
Synthetic glycerin is used in food products, nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical products, personal-care products, and oral-care products. In the pharmaceutical industry, glycerin is used as a sweetener in syrups, lozenges, and as an excipient in eyewash solutions. It my also be found in eardrop products, jellies and creams for topical use, in expectorants for congestion, suppositories, and gel capsules.
As an individual prescription product, glycerin has uses as a hyperosmotic, osmotic diuretic, and ophthalmic agent. It may be used as eye drop in the treatment of glaucoma to reduce intraocular pressure, as a solution or suppository for short-term treatment of constipation, to evacuate the bowel prior to colonoscopy, and in some ocular surgeries. It may be given intravenously to reduce pressure inside the brain, and used externally on the skin as a moisturizer. Glycerin has many other uses in the agricultural, food and pharmaceutical industry.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify glycerin as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). The overall risk of toxicity from glycerin found in pharmaceutical products is low. If one were to come into contact with large, bulk quantities of glycerin, eye irritation may occur. Skin irritation is unlikely unless the skin is damaged where contact occurs. Inhalational toxicity is low due to low volatility, but prolonged, excessive ingestion can cause elevated blood sugar or fat levels in the blood.
 Dow Chemical. Glycerine. Product Safety Assessment. Accessed April 14, 2012. http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_01ad/0901b803801ade92.pdf?filepath=productsafety/pdfs/noreg/233-00490.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc
Top Medications Containing Glycerin
- Benzonatate 200 mg (Major Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Benzonatate 100 mg (Zydus Pharmaceuticals)
- Benzonatate 200 mg (Zydus Pharmaceuticals)
- Benzonatate 100 mg (Major Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Carbamazepine 200 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Celexa 20 mg (Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Celexa 40 mg (Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Citalopram Hydrobromide 20 mg (Amneal Pharmaceuticals)
- Citalopram Hydrobromide 40 mg (Amneal Pharmaceuticals)
- Citalopram Hydrobromide 10 mg (Amneal Pharmaceuticals)
- Clonidine Hydrochloride 0.1 mg (Unichem Pharmaceuticals)
- Clonidine Hydrochloride 0.2 mg (Unichem Pharmaceuticals)
- Docusate Sodium 100 mg (Pharbest Pharmaceuticals)
- Dronabinol 5 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Epitol 200 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- MARINOL 2.5 MG (Unimed Pharmaceuticals)
- Marinol 5 mg (Unimed Pharmaceuticals)
- VITAMIN D 50000 IU (Pliva Inc.)
- Zelapar 1.25 mg (Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Zipsor diclofenac potassium 25 mg (Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)