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    Synonyms: Bis(hydroxyethyl)amine; DEA; diethylolamine; 2,20 -dihydroxydiethylamine; diolamine; 2,20 -iminodiethanol.

    Description: The USP32–NF27 describes diethanolamine as a mixture of ethanolamines consisting largely of diethanolamine. At about room temperature it is a white, deliquescent solid. Above room temperature diethanolamine is a clear, viscous liquid with a mildly ammoniacal odor.

    Chemical Name: 2,20 -Iminobisethanol

    Alkalizing agent; emulsifying agent.

    • Diethanolamine is primarily used in pharmaceutical formulations as a buffering agent, such as in the preparation of emulsions with fatty acids. In cosmetics and pharmaceuticals it is used as a pH adjuster and dispersant.

    • Diethanolamine has also been used to form the soluble salts of active compounds, such as iodinated organic acids that are used as contrast media.

    • As a stabilizing agent, diethanolamine prevents the discoloration of aqueous formulations containing hexamethylenetetramine-1,3-dichloropropene salts.

    • Diethanolamine is also used in cosmetics.

    Diethanolamine is a secondary amine that contains two hydroxy groups. It is capable of undergoing reactions typical of secondary amines and alcohols. The amine group usually exhibits the greater activity whenever it is possible for a reaction to take place at either the amine or a hydroxy group

    Diethanolamine is used in topical and parenteral pharmaceutical formulations, with up to 1.5% w/v being used in intravenous infusions. Experimental studies in dogs have shown that intravenous administration of larger doses of diethanolamine results in sedation, coma, and death

    Diethanolamine is irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Protective clothing, gloves, eye protection, and a respirator are recommended. Ideally, diethanolamine should be handled in a fume cupboard. Diethanolamine poses a slight fire hazard when exposed to heat or flame.

    Monoethanolamine; triethanolamine.