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Polyethylene Oxide

    Synonyms: Polyox; polyoxiante; polyoxirane; polyoxyethylene.

    Description: White to off-white, free-flowing powder. Slight ammoniacal odor.

    Chemical Name: Polyethylene oxide

    Mucoadhesive; coating agent; tablet binder; thickening agent.

    • Polyethylene oxide can be used as a tablet binder at concentrations of 5–85%.

    • The higher molecular weight grades provide delayed drug release via the hydrophilic matrix approach.

    • Polyethylene oxide has also been shown to facilitate coarse extrusion for tableting as well as being an aid in hot-melt extrusion.

    • The relationship between swelling capacity and molecular weight is a good guide when selecting products for use in immediate- or sustained-release matrix formulations;

      Polyethylene oxide has been shown to be an excellent mucoadhesive polymer.

    • Low levels of polyethylene oxide are effective thickeners, although alcohol is usually added to waterbased formulations to provide improved viscosity stability.

    • Polyethylene oxide films demonstrate good lubricity when wet. This property has been utilized in the development of coatings for medical devices.

    • Polyethylene oxide can be radiation crosslinked in solution to produce a hydrogel that can be used in wound care applications.

    Polyethylene oxide is incompatible with strong oxidizing agents.

    Animal studies suggest that polyethylene oxide has a low level of toxicity regardless of the route of administration. It is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract but appears to be completely and rapidly eliminated. The resins are neither skin irritants nor sensitizers, and they do not cause eye irritation.

    Observe normal precautions appropriate to the circumstances and quantity of material handled. Polyethylene oxide may form an explosive dust–air mixture. Gloves, eye protection, a respirator, and other protective clothing should be worn.

    Polyethylene glycol.