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Sorbitan Monooleate

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 19, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Sorbitans are derived from dehydration of sorbitol or sorbose and related compounds in ester combination with fatty acids and with short oligo (ethylene oxide) side chains and an oleate terminus to form detergents and surfactants such as polysorbate 80. Their appearance may vary from an amber-colored oily, viscous liquid, to a light cream color, to tan beads or flakes or a hard, waxy solid with a slight odor They are also used as surfactants or emulsifying agents in the preparation of emulsions, creams, and ointments for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use. Sorbitan use in asthma inhalers has been implicated in causing secondary bronchospasms in children.[1]

List of medications using Sorbitan Monooleate


  1. Sorbitan. Accessed February 28, 2015 at

Further information

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