Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is Starch?
Starches are typically derived from corn or potato. Starches are used in the pharmaceutical industry for a wide variety of reasons, such as an excipient, a tablet and capsule diluent, a tablet and capsule disintegrant, a glidant, or as binder. Disintegrants enable tablets and capsules to break down into smaller fragments (dissolve) so that the drug can be released for absorption. Starches also absorb water rapidly, allowing tablets to disintegrate appropriately.
Starches are also used in the food manufacturing industry for processing, and as food thickeners or stabilizers. There are many other diverse uses for starches in the manufacturing industry. Pregelatinized starch derives primarily from corn, has been cooked and then dried. Instant puddings, pie fillings, soup mixes, salad dressings, candy often contain pregelatinized starch.
Pregelatinized starches (dried, cooked starches) are highly digestible. Consumption of excessive quantities of raw starch has resulted in obesity and iron-deficiency anemia in human subjects. However, there is no evidence to suspect a hazard to the public when they are used at levels that are now current or that might reasonably be expected in the future.
 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 Starch
- Atarax 25 mg (Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group)
- Atarax 10 mg (Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group)
- Atarax hydrochloride 50 mg (Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group)
- Benazepril Hydrochloride 10 mg (Ethex Corporation)
- Benazepril Hydrochloride 40 mg (Ethex Corporation)
- Benazepril Hydrochloride 20 mg (Ethex Corporation)
- Benazepril Hydrochloride 5 mg (Ethex Corporation)
- Dantrium 50 mg (P&G Pharm)
- Dantrium 25 mg (Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Dantrium 100 mg (Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals)
- Dexamethasone 1 mg (Roxane Laboratories, Inc.)
- Dexamethasone 1.5 mg (Roxane Laboratories, Inc.)
- LIORESAL 10 MG (Novartis Pharmaceuticals)
- LIORESAL 20 MG (Novartis Pharmaceuticals)
- Macrodantin 25 mg (P&G Pharm)
- Macrodantin 50 mg (P&G Pharm)
- Nolvadex 10 mg (AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals)
- Norgesic Forte 770 mg / 60 mg / 50 mg (3M Pharmaceuticals)
- Soma compound with Codeine 325 mg / 200 mg / 16 mg (MedPointe Healthcare Inc.)
- Tambocor 150 mg (3M Pharmaceuticals)