Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Aug 20, 2020.
What is it?
Benzyl alcohol (C7H8O) is a colorless liquid with a sharp taste and slight odor. In industry, it is used in the manufacture of other benzyl compounds, and in perfumery and flavoring. As a pharmaceutical product, it is used as an anti-parasite medication used to treat head lice. Benzyl alcohol is also used as a common preservative in many injectable drugs. Benzyl alcohol and benzoic acid have been associated in the past with toxicity and death in neonates who received injectable flush or lavage salines solutions containing benzyl alcohol. Neonates, especially if ill, may not be able to adequately metabolize benzyl alcohol. High concentrations can lead to breathing difficulties, vasodilation, low blood pressure, seizures, and paralysis. Flush solutions with preservatives are now labeled to be avoided in neonates. In addition, nonpreserved saline solution should be used in children to dilute nebulized bronchodilators, for example, with albuterol. Benzyl alcohol may also rarely cause hypersensitivity reactions, such as contact dermatitis, angiodedema, and rash. Other injectable medications that contain low doses of benzyl alcohol preservatives are generally considered safe for newborns.
Top Medications with this excipient
- Cetirizine Hydrochloride (chewable) 10 mg
- Cetirizine Hydrochloride (chewable) 5 mg
- Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride 25 mg
- Ergocalciferol 1.25 mg (50,000 USP units)
- Hydroxyurea 500 mg
- Lescol 40 mg
- Loxapine Succinate 50 mg
- Loxapine Succinate 10 mg
- Olanzapine (Orally Disintegrating) 10 mg
- Olanzapine (Orally Disintegrating) 20 mg
- Oxazepam 10 mg
- Phenytoin Sodium 100 mg
- Phenytoin Sodium Extended 100 mg
- Phrenilin with Caffeine and Codeine acetaminophen 325 mg / butalbital 50 mg / caffeine 40 mg / codeine phosphate 30 mg
- Ridaura 3 mg
- Seromycin 250 mg
- Surmontil 50 mg
- Temazepam 15 mg
- Tetracycline Hydrochloride 250 mg
- Tylenol Extra Strength 500 mg
 2. 'Inactive' Ingredients in Pharmaceutical Products: Update. Committee on Drugs. Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1542/peds.99.2.268. 1997;99;268. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/99/2/268.full.html
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