Polyethylene Glycol Uses and Side Effects

2 min

Chemistry isn’t rocket science. It is very straightforward.

Chemistry is the study of how elements change through reactions. Scientists have developed reactions to change elements for our benefit. One important compound is Polyethylene Glycol.

You may not have heard of it, but you have used it. Here is a quick guide to Polyethylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol uses.

What Is Polyethylene Glycol?

Polyethylene Glycol, also known as PEG, is a polyether. A polyether is a substance that scientists make by joining together simple compounds.

PEG is made from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Hydrogen and oxygen compounds are bound together with ether links. Some polyethers are in chains, while others are in networks.

Polyethylene Glycol is water-soluble. Its simple structure and solubility permit many industrial applications. Scientists can build PEG compounds to enormous sizes, and PEG compounds can take a liquid or solid form.

Polyethylene Glycol is sometimes confused with Ethylene Glycol. Though both are made from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, Ethylene Glycol is not a polyether. Ethylene Glycol is commonly used in antifreeze.

There are two main kinds of PEG: PEG 400 and PEG 3350. The numbers in their names refer to their weight. PEG 400 is a colorless liquid, while PEG 3350 is a powder.

Polyethylene Glycol Uses

Polyethylene Glycol 400 is more commonly used than PEG 3350. But both have significant uses.

Polyethylene Glycol 400 has a naturally sweet flavor. Some manufacturers use it as a sweetener. Vape manufacturers use it as a flavor additive in their products.

Drug manufacturers use PEG 400 as a solvent. PEG 400 can dissolve other substances into water, strengthening drugs.

PEG 400 is a major product in eye drops. It helps treat dry eyes and it helps reduce redness.

PEG 400 is also used as a lubricant. When put in casings, it makes tablets easier for patients to swallow. It helps skin cream dissolve into pores.

PEG 400 is not known to interact with other drugs. But a person can be allergic to PEG 400. Discover more about Polyethylene Glycol 400 and get tested for an allergy if you are concerned.

PEG 3350 is most commonly found in laxatives. PEG 3350 helps stools retain water, increasing bowel movements. PEG 3350 can relieve mild and occasional constipation.

PEG 3350 is mixed into water and then taken by mouth. It is usually taken once a day, every day for two weeks. It may take a few days before PEG 3350 produces a bowel movement.

PEG 3350 is not known to interact with other drugs. Laxatives may cause nausea, bloating, and cramping. You must eat a well-balanced diet for PEG 3350 to have its full effect.

Read More About Your Health

Science develops new products every day. But many of those products use similar chemical compounds. One such compound is Polyethylene Glycol.

PEG is made from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Scientists connect many carbon and oxygen molecules together, creating elaborate structures.

Polyethylene Glycol uses are many. Medicine relies on PEG 400 to dissolve other substances in water, and PEG 3350 is a major component in laxatives.

Polyethylene Glycol is just one important compound for your health. Become more informed and follow our health coverage.

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