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NameHydroxypropyl cellulose
Accession NumberDB00840  (APRD01023)
TypeSmall Molecule
DescriptionHydroxypropyl cellulose is an ether of cellulose where some of the hydroxyl groups of the cellulose have been hydroxypropylated forming -OCH2CH(OH)CH3 groups. Lacrisertis a formulation of hydroxypropyl cellulose that is used for artificial tears. It is used to treat syndromes characterized by insufficient tear production (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), recurrent corneal erosions, decreased corneal sensitivity, exposure and neuroparalytic keratitis, and as a lubricant for artificial eyes. As a food additive, hydroxypropyl cellulose is used as a thickener and as an emulsion stabilizer.
Cellulose hydroxypropyl ether
Cellulose, 2-hydroxypropyl ether
Hydroxypropyl cellulose
Hydroxypropyl cellulose (type H)
Modified cellulose
External Identifiers
  • E 463
  • E-463
  • Ins no.463
  • INS-463
Approved Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Lacrisertpellet5 mg/1ophthalmicBausch & Lomb Incorporated1981-06-01Not applicableUs
Lacrisertpellet5 mg/1ophthalmicAton Pharma, Inc.1981-06-01Not applicableUs
Approved Generic Prescription ProductsNot Available
Approved Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Lacrisertinsert5 mgophthalmicAton Pharma Inc Division Of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America Llc2004-05-25Not applicableCanada
Unapproved/Other Products Not Available
International Brands
A-GelFresenius Kabi
Brand mixturesNot Available
SaltsNot Available
CAS number9004-64-2
WeightNot Available
Chemical FormulaNot Available
InChI KeyNot Available
InChINot Available
IUPAC NameNot Available
SMILESNot Available
ClassificationNot classified
IndicationUsed to relieve dryness and irritation caused by reduced tear flow that occurs in certain eye diseases (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), recurrent corneal erosions, decreased corneal sensitivity, exposure and neuroparalytic keratitis, and as a lubricant for artificial eyes.
PharmacodynamicsHydroxypropyl cellulose (cellulose, 2-hydroxypropyl ether) is a derivative of cellulose with both water solubility and organic solubility. Hydroxypropyl cellulose acts to stabilize and thicken the precorneal tear film and prolong the tear film breakup time which is usually accelerated in patients with dry eye states. Hydroxypropyl cellulose also acts to lubricate and protect the eye. Hydroxypropyl cellulose usually reduces the signs and symptoms resulting from moderate to severe dry eye syndromes, such as conjunctival hyperemia, corneal and conjunctival staining with rose bengal, exudation, itching, burning, foreign body sensation, smarting, photophobia, dryness and blurred or cloudy vision. Progressive visual deterioration which occurs in some patients may be retarded, halted, or sometimes reversed.
Mechanism of actionHydroxypropyl cellulose is a derivative of cellulose that is soluble in both water and organic solvents. It is particularly good at trapping water and producing a film that serves as a barrier to water loss. Hydroxypropyl cellulose possesses good surface activity but does not gel as it forms open helical coils. In general Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a water-soluble thickener, emulsifier and film-former often used in tablet coating.
Related Articles
AbsorptionStudies conducted in rats fed 14 C-labeled hydroxypropyl cellulose demonstrated that when orally administered, hydroxypropyl cellulose is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is quantitatively excreted in the feces.
Volume of distributionNot Available
Protein bindingNone

Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a physiologically inert substance. In a study of rats fed hydroxypropyl cellulose or unmodified cellulose at levels up to 5% of their diet, it was found that the two were biologically equivalent in that neither was metabolized.

Route of eliminationStudies conducted in rats fed 14C-labeled hydroxypropyl cellulose demonstrated that when orally administered, hydroxypropyl cellulose is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is quantitatively excreted in the feces.
Half lifeNot Available
ClearanceNot Available
ToxicityLD50=10200 mg/kg (oral, rat)
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals
PathwaysNot Available
SNP Mediated EffectsNot Available
SNP Mediated Adverse Drug ReactionsNot Available
Predicted ADMET features
Human Intestinal AbsorptionNot AvailableNot Available
Blood Brain BarrierNot AvailableNot Available
Caco-2 permeableNot AvailableNot Available
P-glycoprotein substrateNot AvailableNot Available
P-glycoprotein inhibitor INot AvailableNot Available
P-glycoprotein inhibitor IINot AvailableNot Available
Renal organic cation transporterNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 2C9 substrateNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 2D6 substrateNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 3A4 substrateNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 1A2 substrateNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 2C9 inhibitorNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 2D6 inhibitorNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 2C19 inhibitorNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 3A4 inhibitorNot AvailableNot Available
CYP450 inhibitory promiscuityNot AvailableNot Available
Ames testNot AvailableNot Available
CarcinogenicityNot AvailableNot Available
BiodegradationNot AvailableNot Available
Rat acute toxicityNot AvailableNot applicable
hERG inhibition (predictor I)Not AvailableNot Available
hERG inhibition (predictor II)Not AvailableNot Available
ADMET data is predicted using admetSAR, a free tool for evaluating chemical ADMET properties. (23092397 )
  • Aton pharma inc
Dosage forms
Insertophthalmic5 mg
Pelletophthalmic5 mg/1
Unit descriptionCostUnit
Lacrisert 60 5 mg Insert Box281.99USD box
Lacrisert 5 mg eye insert3.68USD insert
Hydroxypropylcellulose powd0.51USD g
DrugBank does not sell nor buy drugs. Pricing information is supplied for informational purposes only.
PatentsNot Available
Experimental PropertiesNot Available
Predicted PropertiesNot Available
Mass Spec (NIST)Not Available
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
Synthesis Reference

Seiji Orii, Yukio Sasagawa, Akinori Ito, Maruyama, Hiromi, Yoshiteru Sakai, “Process of producing hydroxypropyl cellulose.” U.S. Patent US4292426, issued April, 1964.

General References
  1. Wander AH: Long-term use of hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic insert to relieve symptoms of dry eye in a contact lens wearer: case-based experience. Eye Contact Lens. 2011 Jan;37(1):39-44. doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e3181f84f92. [PubMed:21178699 ]
  2. McDonald M, D'Aversa G, Perry HD, Wittpenn JR, Nelinson DS: Correlating patient-reported response to hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic insert (LACRISERT(R)) therapy with clinical outcomes: tools for predicting response. Curr Eye Res. 2010 Oct;35(10):880-7. doi: 10.3109/02713683.2010.495811. [PubMed:20858108 ]
  3. Luchs JI, Nelinson DS, Macy JI: Efficacy of hydroxypropyl cellulose ophthalmic inserts (LACRISERT) in subsets of patients with dry eye syndrome: findings from a patient registry. Cornea. 2010 Dec;29(12):1417-27. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3181e3f05b. [PubMed:20847657 ]
External Links
ATC CodesNot Available
AHFS CodesNot Available
PDB EntriesNot Available
FDA labelDownload (187 KB)
MSDSDownload (73.5 KB)
Drug InteractionsNo interactions found.
Food InteractionsNot Available
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Drug created on June 13, 2005 07:24 / Updated on August 17, 2016 12:23