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Stearic Acid

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 19, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Stearic acid, also known as n-octadecanoic acid (C18H36O2), is a saturated, wax-like, fatty acid commonly used in the production of pharmaceutical tablets and capsules. It is made by extraction from animal or vegetable fats and oils.

In pharmaceutical dosage forms, stearic acid is used as an emulsifying agent, solubilizing agent, tablet and capsule lubricant. It is also commonly found in lotions, detergents, soaps, and shampoos, and is a natural component of cocoa butter and shea butter. Stearic acid use as an inactive ingredient must be approved by the FDA.[1]

List of medications using Stearic Acid


  1. Dave RH. Overview of pharmaceutical excipients used in tablets and capsules. Drug Topics (online). Advanstar. 10/24/2008 Accessed 08/19/2011

Further information

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