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Accession Number
Small Molecule
Approved, Vet approved

Gelatin is a multifunctional ingredient that is used in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and photographic films as a gelling agent, stabilizer, thickener, emulsifier, as well as film former 6.

As a thermoreversible hydrocolloid with a small gap between its melting and gelling temperatures, gelatin provides unique advantages over carbohydrate-based gelling agents. Gelatin is mainly produced from porcine skin, and cattle hides and bones 6.

Some alternative raw substances have recently garnered attention from both researchers and the industry not only because they overcome religious concerns shared by both Jews and Muslims but also because they may provide scientific advantages over gelatins from mammal origins 21.

Fish skins from a number of fish species a type of substance that has been comprehensively studied as a source for gelatin production. Fish skins have a significant potential for the production of high-quality gelatin with different melting and gelling temperatures over a much larger range than mammalian gelatins but have a sufficiently high level of gel strength and viscosity 6.

Gelatin is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA to be a non-hazardous food or food ingredient 12.

Interestingly, horse gelatin has been studied and it was found that in the horse, gelatin influences the homeostasis of the amino acids required for cartilage synthesis 8. An increasing number of novel applications have been found for collagen and gelatin 2.

  • Gelatin, unspecified
  • Gelatina
  • Gelatine
Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Sulfur ColloidInjection, powder, lyophilized, for solution4.5 mg/1IntravenousAnazao Health Corporation2012-07-01Not applicableUs
Additional Data Available
  • Application Number
    Application Number

    A unique ID assigned by the FDA when a product is submitted for approval by the labeller.

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  • Product Code
    Product Code

    A governmentally-recognized ID which uniquely identifies the product within its regulatory market.

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Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Orabase PasteGelatin (13.3 %) + Carboxymethylcellulose sodium (13.3 %) + Pectin (13.3 %)PasteOral; TopicalConvatec Inc.1995-12-31Not applicableCanada
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing End
Sulfur ColloidGelatin (4.5 mg/1)Injection, powder, lyophilized, for solutionIntravenousAnazao Health Corporation2012-07-01Not applicableUs
CAS number



Gelatin is used for weight loss and for treating osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Some people also use it for strengthening bones, joints, and fingernails. Gelatin is also used for improving hair condition and to shorten the recovery after exercise and sports-related injury 15. Gelatin is used in preparations of foods, cosmetics, and medicine 15.

Plasma volume expander in hypovolaemic shock 16. Haemostatic 16.

Gelatin-based hydrogels are being used in drug delivery and tissue engineering because they are able to promote cell adhesion and proliferation. In addition, these hydrogels can be used as wound dressings because of their attractive fluid absorbance properties. Manufacturing technologies such as ultraviolet stereolithography and two-photon polymerization can be used to prepare structures containing photosensitive gelatin-based hydrogels 13.


Gelatin contains collagen, which is one of the materials that make up cartilage and bone 15.

In addition to their well-established value as a nutritional protein source, collagen and collagen-derived products may exhibit various potential biological activities on cells and the extracellular matrix through the corresponding food-derived peptides post-ingestion. This could justify their applications in dietary supplements and pharmaceutical agents 2.

Gelatin is a protein that is used as a hemostatic in surgical procedures. It is also used as a plasma volume expander in hypovolemic shock. Gelatin rods structures may also be used to temporarily block tear outflow in cases of dry eye 16.

Mechanism of action

It works as a hemostatic by providing a physical framework within which clotting may occur 16.

As a volume expander, gelatin remains in the vascular space. When used in the treatment of hypovolaemia gelatin can produce a significant increase in blood volume, cardiac output, stroke volume, blood pressure, urinary output and oxygen delivery, increasing volume and pressure 18.

For intravascular volume expansion, the majority or gelatins produce an effect which is almost equivalent to of which are mild, although severe reactions albumin, with a duration of action of 3 to 4 hours to have been reported 19.

Gelatin or collagen chains suspended in solution can be covalently cross-linked to form matrices that are able to swell in the presence of aqueous solutions, forming what are called gelatin hydrogels. Hydrogels, characterized by their hydrophilicity and insolubility in water, have the capability of swelling into an equilibrium volume while maintaining their shape. The chemical cross-linkers used may be either small bifunctional molecules or polyfunctional macromolecules, for example, glutaraldehyde 22.

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Adverse Effects

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Structured data covering drug contraindications. Each contraindication describes a scenario in which the drug is not to be used. Includes restrictions on co-administration, contraindicated populations, and more.

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The bioavailability of gelatin was indirectly studied by the determining the bioavailability of total hydroxyproline in gelatin using a pharmacokinetic method after oral ingestion in rats.

The relative and absolute bioavailability of gelatin were 74.12% and 85.97%, respectively. The amino acid profile of plasma showed that 41.91% of the digested gelatin was absorbed from the intestine in the peptide form, and there was a linear correlation between the absorbed amount of an amino acid and its content in gelatin (R(2) = 0.9566). Furthermore, 17 types of collagen peptide were purified by multi-step chromatography and identified with ultra-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry 9.

Volume of distribution
Not Available
Protein binding
Not Available
Not Available
Route of elimination
Not Available
Half life

Half-life is about 4 hr 16.


A large percentage of the administered dose is removed by the kidneys within 24h of ingestion 16.


LD50 Rat >3750 mg/kg 23.

Gelatin solutions have shown to increase the risk of anaphylaxis and may be harmful by increasing mortality, renal failure, and bleeding likely due to extravascular uptake and impairment of coagulation. 4.

Gelatin can cause an unpleasant taste, a sensation of abdominal heaviness, bloating, heartburn, as well as belching 15.

Using gelatin as a plasma expander appears to have no significant advantages over crystalloids or isotonic albumin on mortality and may have a slightly higher risk of requiring allogeneic blood transfusion in perioperative and critically ill patients.

A meta-analysis found that using gelatin as a volume expander in vivo has no significant advantages over currently used volume expanders such as isotonic albumin or crystalloids and may slightly increase the risk of requiring a blood transfusion 20.

Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals
Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
Not Available
Food Interactions
Not Available


General References
  1. EASTOE JE: The amino acid composition of mammalian collagen and gelatin. Biochem J. 1955 Dec;61(4):589-600. [PubMed:13276342]
  2. Liu D, Nikoo M, Boran G, Zhou P, Regenstein JM: Collagen and gelatin. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2015;6:527-57. doi: 10.1146/annurev-food-031414-111800. Epub 2015 Mar 23. [PubMed:25884286]
  3. Djagny VB, Wang Z, Xu S: Gelatin: a valuable protein for food and pharmaceutical industries: review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2001 Sep;41(6):481-92. doi: 10.1080/20014091091904. [PubMed:11592686]
  4. Moeller C, Fleischmann C, Thomas-Rueddel D, Vlasakov V, Rochwerg B, Theurer P, Gattinoni L, Reinhart K, Hartog CS: How safe is gelatin? A systematic review and meta-analysis of gelatin-containing plasma expanders vs crystalloids and albumin. J Crit Care. 2016 Oct;35:75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2016.04.011. Epub 2016 Apr 23. [PubMed:27481739]
  5. Koyama Y, Hirota A, Mori H, Takahara H, Kuwaba K, Kusubata M, Matsubara Y, Kasugai S, Itoh M, Irie S: Ingestion of gelatin has differential effect on bone mineral density and body weight in protein undernutrition. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Feb;47(1):84-6. [PubMed:11349896]
  6. Boran G, Regenstein JM: Fish gelatin. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2010;60:119-43. doi: 10.1016/S1043-4526(10)60005-8. [PubMed:20691955]
  7. Ng HP, Koh KF, Tham LS: Vancomycin causes dangerous precipitation when infused with gelatin fluid. Anaesthesia. 2000 Oct;55(10):1039-40. [PubMed:11012529]
  8. Coenen M, Appelt K, Niemeyer A, Vervuert I: Study of gelatin supplemented diet on amino acid homeostasis in the horse. Equine Vet J Suppl. 2006 Aug;(36):606-10. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2006.tb05612.x. [PubMed:17402491]
  9. Wang L, Wang Q, Liang Q, He Y, Wang Z, He S, Xu J, Ma H: Determination of bioavailability and identification of collagen peptide in blood after oral ingestion of gelatin. J Sci Food Agric. 2015 Oct;95(13):2712-7. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7008. Epub 2014 Dec 24. [PubMed:25410396]
  10. FDA GRAS Substances: Gelatin [Link]
  12. Federal code of regulations, Gelatin [Link]
  13. Gelatin-based hydrogels for biomedical applications [Link]
  14. Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging [Link]
  15. Gelatin Supplements, Medline plus [Link]
  16. MIMS, gelatin [Link]
  17. Volume expander [Link]
  18. Plasma Expanders in Practice [Link]
  19. Intravenous volume replacement: which fluid and why? [Link]
  20. Benefits and risks of using gelatin solution as a plasma expander for perioperative and critically ill patients: A meta-analysis [Link]
  21. Religious constraints on prescribing medication [Link]
  23. Gelatin, Lab Grade [Link]
External Links
PubChem Substance
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
1CompletedDiagnosticNASH - Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis / Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis1
1CompletedTreatmentHealthy Volunteers1
2, 3Unknown StatusTreatmentAcute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)1
3Unknown StatusTreatmentCancer treatment / Colorectal Cancers / Malignant Neoplasm of Stomach1
4CompletedNot AvailableCancer, Breast1
4CompletedDiagnosticCancer, Breast1
4RecruitingDiagnosticCancer, Breast / Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy1
4TerminatedPreventionAnaesthesia therapy1
4TerminatedTreatmentInflammatory Reaction / Postoperative pain1
4Unknown StatusTreatmentPosttraumatic Stress Disorder, Combat-related1
Not AvailableNot Yet RecruitingTreatmentHemorrhage, Surgical / Hip Replacement, Total / Platelet disorders1
Not AvailableTerminatedTreatmentOral Lichen Planus1


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage forms
PasteOral; Topical
Injection, powder, lyophilized, for solutionIntravenous4.5 mg/1
Not Available
Not Available


Not Available
Experimental Properties
Not Available
Predicted Properties
Not Available
Predicted ADMET features
Not Available


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
Not Available


Not classified

Drug created on December 03, 2015 09:51 / Updated on June 04, 2019 07:18