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Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

Medically reviewed by Last updated on April 17, 2020.

What is it?

Methyl alcohol (CH3OH), also known as methanol or wood alcohol, is a light, colorless, flammable liquid at room temperature. It used in the manufacture of formaldehyde and acetic acid, in chemical synthesis, in antifreeze, and as a solvent. Ingestion of methanol is toxic and may cause blindness and death.

Methanol is also a “naturally occurring” substance, produced by living organisms, and manufactured from a variety of organic and inorganic sources. In industry, methanol is also used to produce chemicals used to manufacture polyester fabrics and fibers, acrylic plastics, pesticides, textile solvents, pharmaceuticals, and windshield wiper fluid. It is used as a solvent in the manufacture of cholesterol, streptomycin, vitamins, hormones, and other pharmaceuticals.[1][2]


[1] Southern Chemical Corporation. Methanol Uses. Accessed 8/19/2012.

[2] Methanol Institute. Methanol Basics. Accesssed 8/19/2012.

Further information

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