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Frequently Used Excipients in Pharmaceutical Formulation

Frequently Used Excipients in Solid Dosage Formulation


Calcium carbonate, Calcium phosphate, Dibasic calcium phosphate, Tribasic calcium sulfate cellulose, Microcrystalline cellulose, Dextrates, Dextrin, Dextrose, Excipient, Fructose, Kaolin, Lacitol, Lactose, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Starch, Pregelatinized starch, Sugar, Compressible sugar, Confectioner's sugar etc.


Acacia, Alginic acid, Carboxymethyl cellulose, Sodium cellulose, Liquid guar gum, Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose, Povidone k-30, Pregelatinized starch syrup etc.


Calcium silicate, Magnesium silicate, Silicon dioxide, Colloidal talc etc.


Alginic acid, Cellulose, Microcrystalline cellulose, Croscarmellose sodium, Cross povidone, Sodium starch glycolate, Pregelatinized starch etc.


Calcium stearate, Magnesium stearate, Mineral oil, Light PEG, Purified talc, Vegetable oil, Stearic acid etc.

Coating Agent

Carboxymethyl cellulose, Cellulose acetate, Cellulose acetate pthalate (CAP), Ethyl cellulose, Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose pthalate, Methacrylic acid copolymer, Methyl cellulose, PEG, Polyvinyl acetate, Shellac, Titanium dioxide, Wax, Carnauba wax, Microcrystalline zein etc.

Frequently Used Excipients in Semi-solid Dosage Formulation

Structure forming agents

Cetosteryl alcohol, Sorbitan, Mineral oils etc.


Benzyl alcohol, Sodium benzoate, Methyl paraben, Propyl paraben, Chlorocresol etc.


Butyl hydroxyl toluene, Butyl hydroxyl anisole, Ascorbic acid etc.


Lanolin, Cholesterol, Cholesterol esters etc.

Gelling agents

Carbomer, Carboxy methyl cellulose, Hydroxyl propyl cellulose, Xanthan gum etc.


Glycerin, Mineral oil, Petrolatum, Isopropyl palmitate etc.

Suppository bases

Cocoa butter, Glycerin, Coconut oil, Gelatin, Hydrogenated vegetable oil, Polyethylene glycol etc.

Frequently Used Excipients in Liquid Dosage Formulation


Water, Alcohol, Acetic acid, Acetone, Ethyl acetate, Syrups etc.

Co solvents

Ethanol, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Propylene glycol etc.


Phosphate buffers, Acetate buffers, Citric acid phosphate buffers etc.

Antimicrobial preservatives

Benzyl alcohol, Sodium benzoate, Methyl paraben, Propyl paraben, Butyl paraben, Phenol, Thiomersal etc.


Ascorbic acid, Sodium bisulphate, Thiourea, Butyl hydroxyl toluene (BHT), Tocopherols etc.

Wetting agents

Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), Tween 80, Spans, Lecithins etc.

Antifoaming agents

Simethicone, Organic phosphates, Alcohols, Paraffin oils, Glycol etc.

Thickening agents

Methyl cellulose, Hydroxyethyl cellulose, Microcrystalline cellulose etc.


Propylene glycol, glycerol, polyethylene glycol etc.

Chelating agents

Disodium EDTA, Dihydroxy ethyl glycine, Citric acid, Tartaric acid etc.

Emulsifying agents

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), Cetrimide, Macrogol esters, Sorbitan esters etc.

Flocculating agents

Starch, Sodium alginate, Carbomer etc.

Sweetening agents

Sucrose, Sorbitol, Saccharin, Aspartame, Sucralose etc.

Frequently Used Excipients in Ophthalmic Preparation


Water for injections, Boric acid vehicle, Special boric acid vehicle, Isotonic phosphate vehicle etc.

Buffering Agents

Boric acid, Sodium acid phosphate, Disodium Hydrogen Phosphate Dodecahydrate, Sodium citrate, Potassium chloride and Sodium carbonate etc.

Tonicity Agents

Sodium chloride, Potassium chloride, Mannitol etc.


Phenylmercuric nitrate, Benzalkonium chloride, Chlorhexidine acetate, Hydroxybenzoates, Chlorocresol, Chlorbutol, Thiomersal, Sodium perborate etc.

Reducing Agents

Sodium metabisulphite, Sodium thiosulphate etc.


Ascorbic acid, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Sodium thiosulphate pentahydrate etc.

Sequestering Agents

Disodium edetate, Sodium citrate etc.

Dissolution Enhancer

Povidone, Macrogol 15 hydroxystearate, Cyclodextrin etc.

Viscosity Enhancer

Polyvinyl alcohol, Methyl cellulose, Bentonite etc.

Suspending Agents

Bentonite, Carbomer, Methyl cellulose etc.

Frequently Used Excipients in Injectable Preparation

  • Alcohol
  • Aluminum Phosphate Adjuvant
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Calcium Acetate
  • Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium
  • Chlorocresol
  • Citric acid Monohydrate
  • Dextrose Monohydrate
  • Disodium Hydrogen Phosphate Dodecahydrate
  • HCl 37%
  • Mannitol
  • Sodium Carbonate
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Sodium Metabisulfite
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Sodium Sulfite
  • Sorbitol
  • Thimerosal
  • WFI

Handbook of Pharmaceutical Excipients 

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