Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on May 6, 2018.
What is it?
Sorbitol (C6H14O6) is a sugar alcohol (polyol) used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry as a sweetener or humectant (for protection against loss of moisture content). It is produced by hydrogenation of glucose and is available in liquid and crystalline form. It also occurs naturally in many fresh fruits and berries. Sorbitol is also found commonly in "sugar-free" chewing gum, and may be used to sweeten pharmaceutical dosage forms such as syrups or chewable tablets.
Excessive consumption of sorbitol may lead to a laxative effect, but the small amount used in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes would not normally pose this risk.
Sorbitol is about two-thirds as sweet as glucose. It has a lower calorie content than glucose and may be used in diabetic foods. Sorbitol has roughly 2.6 calories per gram of bulk product. Sorbitol in normal quantities is a safe food product for consumption, and is listed in the FDA’s Generally Regarded as Safe GRAS listing.  
 FDA’s SCOGS database; corn starch, Report No. 9, 1979.; ID Code: 50-70-4; http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/GenerallyRecognizedasSafeGRAS/GRASSubstancesSCOGSDatabase/ucm260079.htmAccessed October 24, 2011
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Top Medications with this excipient
- Aleve naproxen sodium 220 mg
- Calcium Carbonate (Chewable) 420 mg
- Clonazepam (Dispersible) 0.125mg
- Clonazepam (dispersible) 0.5 mg
- Cold and Flu Relief Daytime acetaminophen 325mg / dextromethorphan 10mg / phenylephrine 5mg
- Cyclosporine 25 mg
- Day Time Multi-Symptom Cold/Flu Relief acetaminophen 325 mg / dextromethorphan hydrobromide 10 mg / phenylephrine hydrochloride 5 mg
- Didrex 50 mg
- Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride 25 mg
- Docusate Sodium 100 mg
- Hyoscyamine Sulfate (Sublingual) 0.125 mg
- Lithium Carbonate Extended Release 300 mg
- Multi Symptom NiteTime acetaminophen 325mg / dextromethorphan 15mg / doxylamine 6.25 mg
- Myorisan 20 mg
- Ondansetron Hydrochloride (Orally Disintegrating) 4 mg
- Risperidone (Orally Disintegrating) 4 mg
- Risperidone (Orally Disintegrating) 1 mg
- Rocaltrol 0.25 mcg
- Sandimmune 25 mg
- Vitafol-One Prenatal Multivitamins with Folic Acid 1 mg