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Corn Syrup

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 30, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Corn is a common vegetable grown for a wide variety of uses. The stalk produces light-yellow to yellow ears which contain the grain - seeds called kernels. Corn, also known as maize outside the US, is a major livestock feed and food industry backbone. It is also processed into various forms, such as corn-derived proteins, corn starch, corn syrup, or corn syrup solids that may be used in the cosmetics or pharmaceutical industries. Corn sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup, are the most important refined corn products. Last year, corn sweeteners supplied more than 50 percent of the U.S. nutritive sweetener market. Corn oil, cornstarch, and cornmeal are also used in food products. Corn starch is a natural starch product that is derived from the corn kernel. It is a white to slightly yellowish fine powder commonly used in the food and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries. In the pharmaceutical industry it is used as a disintegrant and binder. Disintegrants enable tablets and capsules to break down into smaller fragments (dissolve) so that the drug can be released for absorption.[1] Corn starch is on the generally recognized as safe food substances list published by by the FDA.[2]Some words on labels that tell you corn may in a food are: dextrose, glucose, dextrin, maltodextrin, lecithin, fructose, high fructose, vegetable starch, thickeners, sweeteners, syrup, vegetable oil, maize, and sorbitol.[1][2][3]

List of medications using Corn Syrup


  1. [1]GSMMC. Sources of corn and corn by-products. Accessed March 28, 2014.
  2. [2]Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008; Accessed 08/19/2011.
  3. FDA’s SCOGS database; corn starch, Report No. 977050-51-3, 1979.; ID Code: 96; Accessed August 12, 2011

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.