Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 6, 2019.
What is it?
Glycerin (C3H8O3), also known as glycerol and glycerine, is an odorless, colorless, oily, viscous liquid that has a sweet taste.
Synthetic glycerin is used in food products, nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical products, personal-care products, and oral-care products. In the pharmaceutical industry, glycerin is used as a sweetener in syrups, lozenges, and as an excipient in eyewash solutions. It my also be found in eardrop products, jellies and creams for topical use, in expectorants for congestion, suppositories, and gel capsules.
As an individual prescription product, glycerin has uses as a hyperosmotic, osmotic diuretic, and ophthalmic agent. It may be used as eye drop in the treatment of glaucoma to reduce intraocular pressure, as a solution or suppository for short-term treatment of constipation, to evacuate the bowel prior to colonoscopy, and in some ocular surgeries. It may be given intravenously to reduce pressure inside the brain, and used externally on the skin as a moisturizer. Glycerin has many other uses in the agricultural, food and pharmaceutical industry.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify glycerin as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). The overall risk of toxicity from glycerin found in pharmaceutical products is low. If one were to come into contact with large, bulk quantities of glycerin, eye irritation may occur. Skin irritation is unlikely unless the skin is damaged where contact occurs. Inhalational toxicity is low due to low volatility, but prolonged, excessive ingestion can cause elevated blood sugar or fat levels in the blood.
 Dow Chemical. Glycerine. Product Safety Assessment. Accessed April 14, 2012. http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_01ad/0901b803801ade92.pdf?filepath=productsafety/pdfs/noreg/233-00490.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc
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Top Medications with this excipient
- Benzonatate 100 mg
- Benzonatate 100 mg
- Carbidopa, Entacapone and Levodopa 31.25 mg / 200 mg / 125 mg
- Carbidopa, Entacapone and Levodopa 37.5 mg / 200 mg / 150 mg
- Citalopram Hydrobromide 20 mg
- Clonidine Hydrochloride 0.1 mg
- Clonidine Hydrochloride 0.2 mg
- Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride 50 mg
- Docusate Calcium 240 mg
- Doxercalciferol 1 mcg
- Dronabinol 10 mg
- Dutasteride 0.5 mg
- Dutasteride and Tamsulosin Hydrochloride 0.5 mg / 0.4 mg
- Nifedipine 20 mg
- Oxsoralen-ultra 10 mg
- Paricalcitol 4 mcg
- Prenate DHA prenatal vitamin & DHA
- Sandimmune 100 mg
- Simethicone 125 mg
- Taytulla ethinyl estradiol 0.02 mg / norethindrone acetate 1 mg