Polyethylene Glycol 8000
Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 1, 2019.
What is it?
Polyethylene glycol, referred to as PEG, is used as an inactive ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent, plasticizer, surfactant, ointments and suppository base, and tablet and capsule lubricant. PEG has low toxicity with systemic absorption less than 0.5%.
PEGylation occurs when PEGs are attached to various protein medications, allowing for greater solubility for certain drugs. Examples of PEGylated medications include PEG-interferon alpha (Pegintron) and PEG-filgrastim (Neulasta). PEG is also available as a bowel prep for colonoscopy procedures and as a laxative.
PEG 400 indicates the average molecular weight of the specific PEG at 400. PEG 3350 is a laxative available over-the-counter by the name of Miralax. In this case, PEG is considered an "active" ingredient, even though systemic absorption is less than 0.5%.
 Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008 http://drugtopics.modernmedicine.com/drugtopics/Top+News/Overview-of-pharmaceutical-excipients-used-in-tabl/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/561047. Accessed 08/19/2011
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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