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D&C Red No. 6 Lake

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 19, 2024.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

FDA has regulatory review for color additives used in foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. The color additive D&C Red No. 6 may be safely used for coloring cosmetics generally in amounts consistent with current good manufacturing practice.

Lakes are formed by reacting straight dyes (such as D&C Red No. 6) with precipitants and salts, according to the FDA. Aluminum is often a component, but other precipitants such as calcium or sodium may be used. Lakes may be used as color additives for tablet coatings due to their stability, and may also be used for cosmetics such as eye shadows and lipsticks.

Additives used in coloring pharmaceuticals and cosmetics may only be of quantities allowable by the U.S. FDA. The color additive D&C Red No. 6 may be safely used for coloring drugs such that the combined total of D&C Red No. 6 and D&C Red No. 7 does not exceed 5 milligrams per daily dose of the drug.[1][2][3]

List of medications using D&C Red No. 6 Lake


  1. Electronic Code of Federal Registers. Title 21: Food and Drugs. Part 74. Summary of Color Additives for Use in the United States in Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics, and Medical Devices. Accessed online 8/19/2012.
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cosmetics. Color Additives Permitted for Use. Accessed 8/20/2012.
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Color Additives and Cosmetics. Updated 4/29/2007. Accessed 8/20/2012.;sid=c387334e82029536a53dde1171ba5481;rgn=div5;view=text;node=21%3A1.;idno=21;cc=ecfr#21:

Further information

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