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Hydroxyethyl Cellulose

    Synonyms:  Cellosize HEC; cellulose hydroxyethyl ether; cellulose 2-hydroxyethyl ether; cellulose hydroxyethylate; ethylhydroxy cellulose; ethylose; HEC; HE cellulose; hetastarch; 2-hydroxyethyl cellulose ether; hydroxyethylcellulosum; hydroxyethyl ether cellulose; hydroxyethyl starch; hyetellose; Natrosol; oxycellulose; Tylose H; Tylose PHA

    Description:  Hydroxyethyl cellulose occurs as a white, yellowish-white or grayish-white, odorless and tasteless, hygroscopic powder.

    Chemical Name: Cellulose, 2-hydroxyethyl ether

    Coating agent; suspending agent; tablet binder; thickening agent;
    viscosity-increasing agent.

    • Hydroxyethyl cellulose is a nonionic, water-soluble polymer widely used in pharmaceutical formulations.

    • It is primarily used as a thickening agent in ophthalmic and topical formulations, although it is also used as a binder and film-coating agent for tablets.

    • It is present in lubricant preparations for dry eye, contact lens care, and dry mouth.

    • The concentration of hydroxyethyl cellulose used in a formulation is dependent upon the solvent and the molecular weight of the grade.

    • Hydroxyethyl cellulose is also widely used in cosmetics.

    Hydroxyethyl cellulose is insoluble in most organic solvents. It is incompatible with zein and partially compatible with the following water-soluble compounds: casein; gelatin; methylcellulose; polyvinyl alcohol, and starch. Hydroxyethyl cellulose can be used with a wide variety of watersoluble antimicrobial preservatives. However, sodium pentachlorophenate produces an immediate increase in viscosity when added to hydroxyethyl cellulose solutions.

    Hydroxyethyl cellulose is primarily used in ophthalmic and topical pharmaceutical formulations. It is generally regarded as an essentially nontoxic and nonirritant material. Acute and subacute oral toxicity studies in rats have shown no toxic effects attributable to hydroxyethyl cellulose consumption, the hydroxyethyl cellulose being neither absorbed nor hydrolyzed in the rat gastrointestinal tract. However, although used in oral pharmaceutical formulations, hydroxyethyl cellulose has not been approved for direct use in food products

    Observe normal precautions appropriate to the circumstances and quantity of material handled. Hydroxyethyl cellulose dust may be irritant to the eyes, and eye protection is recommended. Excessive dust generation should be avoided to minimize the risks of explosion. Hydroxyethyl cellulose is combustible. When heated to decomposition, hydroxyethyl cellulose emits acrid smoke and irritating vapors, in which case a ventilator is recommended.

    Hydroxyethylmethyl cellulose; hydroxypropyl cellulose; hydroxypropyl cellulose, low-substituted; hypromellose; methylcellulose.