Ethanol has a range of applications in the pharmaceutical industry.

It is used as an antiseptic and disinfectant as it can kill most bacteria, fungi and some viruses, by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipids.

Ethanol is used in medical wipes and antibacterial hand sanitiser gels. Rubbing denatured ethyl alcohol is applied to disinfect skin before injections and is also used to clean medical equipment before minor medical procedures.

Furthermore, it has been found that a rinsing procedure with an ethanol solution could be instrumental in fighting infections related to long-term intravascular devices such as intravascular catheters.

In its use as an antiseptic and disinfectant, ethanol is included in the World Health Organization's (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines, a list of the medicines needed to meet the most important needs in a health system.

Due to its solvent properties, ethanol can be found in cough syrups and other liquid drug products. It is used as an extraction solvent in herbal liquid extracts and tinctures and in homeopathy in the production of mother tinctures and liquid homeopathic medicines. It is also commonly used as preservative in pharmaceutical preparations.

Sometimes, ethanol has an application as an antidote to methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning.


Provided by SeeNews exclusively for Essentica.