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Methyl Alcohol

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Methyl alcohol is a flammable, toxic, mobile liquid, used as an industrial solvent, antifreeze, and in chemical manufacture. Ingestion of methyl alcohol may result in severe acidosis, visual impairment, and other effects on the central nervous system. Synonyms of methyl alcohol include methanol, wood alcohol, and wood spirit. Methyl alcohol (CH3OH) 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]

List of medications using Methyl Alcohol


  1. Southern Chemical Corporation. Methanol Uses. Accessed 8/19/2012.
  2. Methanol Institute. Methanol Basics. Accessed 8/19/2012.

Further information

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