Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is Titanium Dioxide?
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a naturally occurring mineral used as a bright white pigment for paint, in the food industry as a coloring, in sunscreens and cosmetics, and in other industrial uses. After processing, it is exists as white, powdery solid. Titanium dioxide has excellent ultraviolet (UV) resistant qualities and acts as a UV absorbent.
In the pharmaceutical industry, titanium dioxide is used in most sunscreens to block UVA and UVB rays, similar to zinc oxide. It is also commonly used as pigment for pharmaceutical products such as gelatin capsules, tablet coatings and syrups. In the cosmetics industry, it is used in toothpaste, lipsticks, creams, ointments and powders. It can be used as an opacifier to make pigments opaque.
The FDA has approved the safety of titanium dioxide for use as a colorant in food, drugs and cosmetics, including sunscreens. However, controversy exists as to the safety of titanium dioxide nanoparticles used in the cosmetics industry, for example in sunscreens. Titanium and zinc oxides may be made into the nanoparticle size (0.2-100 nanometers) to reduce the white appearance when applied topically, but retain the UV blocking properties. Recent studies suggest titanium dioxide nanoparticles may be toxic, although further research is needed.
 Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008 http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drugtopics/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=561047. Accessed 08/19/2011
 Biello D. Do nanoparticles and sunscreens mix? Scientific American (online). August 20, 2007; http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-nanoparticles-and-sunscreen-mix. Accessed 9/8/2011
Top Medications Containing Titanium Dioxide
- Amitriptyline Hydrochloride 25 mg (Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride 10 mg (Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride 10 mg (Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.)
- Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride 10 mg (Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride 10 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Cyclobenzaprine Hydrochloride 10 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals)
- Gabapentin 600 mg (Glenmark Generics Inc.)
- Lexapro 10 mg (Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- Morphine Sulfate SR 30 mg (Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals)
- Morphine Sulfate SR 15 mg (Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals)
- Nucynta tapentadol 50 mg (Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
- OxyContin 40 mg (Purdue Pharma LP)
- OxyContin 20 mg (Purdue Pharma LP)
- OxyContin 80 mg (Purdue Pharma LP)
- OxyContin 10 mg (Purdue Pharma LP)
- Tramadol Hydrochloride 50 mg (Amneal Pharmaceuticals)
- Tramadol Hydrochloride 50 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Tramadol Hydrochloride 50 mg (Zydus Pharmaceuticals)
- Tramadol Hydrochloride 50 mg (Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories)
- Zolpidem Tartrate 10 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)