Polyethylene Glycol 8000
Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is Polyethylene Glycol 8000?
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 8000
- Amoxicillin Trihydrate 875 mg (Aurobindo Pharma)
- Aricept 10 mg (Eisai Inc.)
- Aricept 5 mg (Eisai Inc.)
- Clopidogrel Bisulfate 75 mg (base) (Apotex Corp.)
- Dexilant 60 mg (Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.)
- Diovan 320 mg (Novartis Pharmaceuticals)
- Donepezil Hydrochloride 10 mg (Greenstone Limited)
- Gabapentin 600 mg (Apotex Corporation)
- Gabapentin 800 mg (Apotex Corporation)
- Hydrochlorothiazide and Triamterene 25 mg / 37.5 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Hydrochlorothiazide and Triamterene 50 mg / 75 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Hydrocodone Bitartrate and Ibuprofen 7.5 mg / 200 mg (Watson Laboratories, Inc.)
- Ibuprofen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride 400 mg / 5 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Metoprolol Succinate Extended-Release 50 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Metoprolol Succinate Extended-Release 100 mg (Watson Laboratories, Inc.)
- Metoprolol Succinate Extended-Release 25 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Naproxen Sodium 550 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Naproxen Sodium 275 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Vesicare 5 mg (GlaxoSmithKline)
- Vesicare 10 mg (Astellas)