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Antioxidant and Its Impact on Pharmaceutical Products


Antioxidant is a substance that inhibits oxidation, especially one used to counteract the deterioration of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and stored food products. It can be synthetic or natural substances.

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells or degrade the products. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these chain reactions.


Antioxidants are classified into two broad divisions, depending on whether they are soluble in water (hydrophilic) or in lipids (lipophilic). In general, water-soluble antioxidants react with oxidants in the cell cytosol and the blood plasma, while lipid-soluble antioxidants protect cell membranes from lipid peroxidation.

Examples of Few Antioxidants

  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin E (Alpha tocopherols)
  • Sodium Metabisulfite
  • Sodium Thiosulfate Pentahydrate
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Astaxanthins

Antioxidant Impact on Pharmaceutical Products

The addition of antioxidant to pharmaceutical products is essential for avoiding alteration and degradation by oxidation during storage. Its presence within IIG limit does not impair the bio-availability, the therapeutic efficacy or safety of the preparation, and does not interfere with analysis and tests prescribed for determining compliance with the official pharmacopeias standards.

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