Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 3, 2018.
What is it?
Polysorbates are common excipient and solubilizing agents used in the pharmaceutical industry. For example, polysorbate 80 (also known as polyoxyethylene-sorbitan-20 mono-oleate, or Tween 80) is commonly used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry in lotions, medical preparations (e.g., vitamin oils, vaccines, and intravenous preparations) and as an excipient in tablets. A solubilizing agent acts as a surfactant and increases the solubility of one agent in another. A substance that would not normally dissolve in a particular solution is able to dissolve with the use of a solubilizing agent.
 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
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