Polyethylene Glycol 8000
Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
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
Top Medications with this excipient
- Amoxicillin and Clavulanate Potassium 500 mg / 125 mg (Apotex Corp.)
- Amoxicillin Trihydrate 875 mg (Aurobindo Pharma)
- Anaprox DS naproxen sodium 550 mg (Roche Laboratories)
- Atorvastatin Calcium 20 mg (Apotex Corp.)
- Atorvastatin Calcium 40 mg (Apotex Corp.)
- Atorvastatin Calcium 10 mg (Apotex Corp.)
- Cefuroxime Axetil 250 mg (Apotex Corp.)
- Gabapentin 600 mg (Apotex Corporation)
- Griseofulvin (Microcrystalline) 500 mg (Rising Pharmaceuticals Inc)
- Hydrocodone Bitartrate and Ibuprofen 7.5 mg / 200 mg (Watson Laboratories, Inc.)
- Lipofen 50 mg (Kowa Pharmaceuticals America Inc)
- Metformin Hydrochloride and Pioglitazone Hydrochloride 500 mg / 15 mg (base) (Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited)
- Metoprolol Succinate Extended-Release 50 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Metoprolol Succinate Extended-Release 25 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Naproxen Sodium 550 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Oxaprozin 600 mg (Apotex Corp.)
- Quetiapine Fumarate 50 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.)
- Risperidone 1 mg (Apotex Corp.)
- Spironolactone Hydrochloride 25 mg (Amneal Pharmaceuticals)
- Zolpidem Tartrate 10 mg (Apotex Corp.)