The hypromellose (INN) , is a semisynthetic polymer and an excipient and a component controlled administration in oral medications, that is in a variety of commercial products.

Hypromellose – What is it

As a food additive, hypromellose is an emulsifying, thickening and suspending agent, and an alternative to animal gelatin. Its Codex Alimentarius code (E number) is E464.

Hypromellose is a solid, and has a slightly white to beige powdery appearance and can be formed into granules. The compound forms colloids when dissolved in water. This non-toxic ingredient is combustible and can react vigorously with oxidizing agents.

Typically, this critical (freezing) temperature is inversely related to both the solution concentration of HPMC and the concentration of the methoxy group within the HPMC molecule (which in turn depends on both the degree of substitution of the methoxy group and the substitution cool).

That is, the higher the concentration of the methoxy group, the lower the critical temperature. The inflexibility / viscosity of the resulting mass has to do with the methoxy group.

Hypromellose – Uses

This medicine is used to relieve dry, irritated eyes. This product may contain one or more of the following ingredients: carboxymethylcellulose, dextran, glycerin, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400), polysorbate, polyvinyl alcohol, povidone or propylene glycol, among others.

Eye lubricants keep the eye moist, help protect the eye from injury and infection, and decrease dry eye symptoms such as burning.

If you are not sure about the information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Some brands (containing glycerin with polysorbates, among other ingredients) can have a milky appearance. This is fine as long as the solution does not change color. Some eye drops should be shaken before use. Check the label to see if you should shake your product before use.

The drops can usually be used as often as needed. Ointments are generally used 1 to 2 times a day as needed. If you use an ointment once a day, it may be best to use it before bed.

To apply eye ointments / drops / gels: Wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, be careful not to touch the dropper or the top of the ointment tube or let it touch your eye. Tilt your head back, look up, and lower your lower eyelid to form a pocket.

For an ointment, hold the tube directly over the eye and gently squeeze a small strip (a quarter inch or about 6 millimeters) of the ointment into the bag. Release your eyelid, close your eye, and slowly turn your eye in all directions to spread the medicine. Blot any extra ointment around the eye with a clean tissue.

Hypromellose – History

Hypromellose solutions were patented as a semi-synthetic tear film substitute. When applied, a hypromellose solution works to swell and absorb water, thus expanding the thickness of the tear film.

The increase in hypromellose therefore results in a greater presence of lubricant during time on the cornea, especially in dry climates, at home or in the work environment. At the molecular level, this polymer contains D-glucose units.

On a manufacturing note, it is a bit more expensive to produce due to the semi-synthetic manufacturing processes. In addition to its wide commercial and retail availability over the counter in a variety of products, it has been documented that 2% hypromellose solution will be used during surgery to aid in corneal protection and during orbital surgery.

Hypromellose – What is it for?

In addition to its use in ophthalmic fluids, it works as a controlled-release agent to delay the release of a medicinal compound in the digestive tract. It is also used as a binder and as a component in tablet coatings.

Hypromellose – Side Effects

Vision may be temporarily blurred when this product is used for the first time. Additionally, minor burns / stinging / irritation may temporarily occur.

If your doctor has told you to use this medicine. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any of these unlikely but serious side effects: eye pain, vision changes, ongoing eye redness / irritation.

However, ask for help if you have: rash, itching / swelling (especially of the face / tongue / throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects.

Hypromellose – Precautions

Before using this product. Consult your pharmacist for more details. If you have any health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product.

This product (especially ointments) may temporarily cause blurred vision after it has been placed in the eye (s). Do not drive as you may not have a clear vision until you are sure you can safely perform these activities.

It is always necessary to consult before taking any medication. Be clear that doses higher than those recommended can harm your health. Hypromellose requires a lot of care, although of course its benefits are greater, providing great solutions for different problems. If you are going to spend many hours in front of the machine, it is advisable to use them, since they give moisture, improving vision and favoring the rest of it.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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