Polyethylene Glycol 4000
Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is Polyethylene Glycol 4000?
Polyethylene glycol, referred to as PEG, is used as an inactive ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent, plasticizer, surfactant, ointments, and suppository base, and tablet and capsule lubricant. PEG has low toxicity with systemic absorption less than 0.5%.
PEGylation occurs when PEGs are attached to various protein medications, allowing for greater solubility for certain drugs. Examples of PEGylated medications include PEG-interferon alpha (Pegintron) and PEG-filgrastim (Neulasta). PEG is also available as a bowel prep for colonoscopy procedures and as a laxative.
PEG 400 indicates the average molecular weight of the specific PEG at 400. PEG 3350 is a laxative available over-the-counter by the name of Miralax. In this case, PEG is considered an active ingredient, even though systemic absorption is less than 0.5%.
 Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008 http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drugtopics/Top+News/Overview-of-pharmaceutical-excipients-used-in-tabl/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/561047. Accessed 08/19/2011
Top Medications Containing Polyethylene Glycol 4000
- Amoxicillin and Clavulanate Potassium 875 mg / 125 mg (Aurobindo Pharma Limited)
- Azithromycin 250 mg (Pliva Inc.)
- Cefuroxime Axetil 500 mg (Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Cefuroxime Axetil 250 mg (Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Citalopram Hydrobromide 20 mg (Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories)
- Citalopram Hydrobromide 40 mg (Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories)
- Clarithromycin Extended Release 500 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Clopidogrel Bisulfate 75 mg (base) (Teva Pharmaceuticals, USA Inc.)
- Diclofenac Potassium 50 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Divalproex Sodium Delayed-Release 250 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Gemfibrozil 600 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Levetiracetam 500 mg (Aurobindo Pharma)
- Pantoprazole Sodium Delayed Release 40 mg (Wockhardt USA)
- Pantoprazole Sodium Delayed-Release 40 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Quetiapine Fumarate 50 mg (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries)
- Quetiapine Fumarate 100 mg (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries)
- Quetiapine Fumarate 200 mg (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries)
- Tramadol Hydrochloride 50 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Zelnorm 6 mg (Novartis Pharmaceuticals)
- Zyprexa 20 mg (Eli Lilly and Company)