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Polyethylene glycol


Polyethylene glycol
Polyethylene glycols or PEGs are water-soluble polymers that are used in many pharmaceutical formulations. In topical formulations like creams, lotions and gels, they can be used as humectants and cosolvents. Higher molecular weight PEGs can be evaluated as rheology modifiers/viscosifiers in topical dosage forms. In oral applications, PEGs can be evaluated as solubilisers and viscosifiers. In OSDs, higher molecular weight PEGs can impart plasticity to granules, enhance the effectiveness of binder and can be used as lubricants for tablets. In softgel capsules, PEGs can be used as plasticisers to make the shell pliable and less brittle.
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Polyethylene glycol
Polyethylene glycol
Primary function
Surfactant/ Solubiliser
Physical data

  • PEG 200, PEG 300, PEG 400: Clear, colourless or slightly yellow coloured, viscous liquids
  • PEG 600: solid at ambient temperature
  • PEG 900 and above: White to off-white solids. They have a consistency ranging from pastes to hard waxes
  • PEG 3000 and above can also be free-flowing powders

PEGs can be regarded as an addition polymer of ethylene oxide and water
Benefits / Claims
Higher molecular weight PEGs as PEG 1000, PEG 1450 and PEG 3350 can form networks or microstructures.
Aqueous PEG solutions can be used either as suspending agent or to adjust the viscosity and consistency of other suspending vehicles.
When used in conjunction with other emulsifiers, PEG can act as emulsion stabiliser.
Suitable for
Cream/ Emulsion
Softgel capsules
Oral Solutions
Modified release systems

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