What Is the Role Of Benzyl Alcohol in Pharmaceutical Industries?

December 15, 2020

Benzyl alcohol is a transparent, odourless colourless liquid that has gained extensive use in commerce due to a wide range of advantageous properties including comparatively mild toxicity, high polarity, solubility in water and other solvents, low vapour pressure, and slight pleasant aromatic smell. Though its main commercial applications are in fragrances and industrial processes as solvent and textile dye assistant, benzyl alcohol application in pharmaceutical sectors marks a significant presence.


In industry, it is used in the manufacture of other benzyl compounds and perfumery and flavourings. It is used as a prescription product as an anti-parasite drug used to treat head lice. Benzyl alcohol is also used as a popular preservative in a variety of injectable drugs.


Benzyl alcohol is widely used as a preservative in multi-dose, injectable prescription formulations. For this reason, concentrations in the range of 0.5–2.0 percent are used, and the total volume of benzyl alcohol injected is usually very well tolerated. Concentrations of 0.9 per cent are used in Bacteriostatic Sodium Chlorine (USP), which is frequently used in the care of critically ill patients to flush intravascular catheters following addition or removal of blood, and in Sterile Bacteriostatic Water for Injection (USP), which is used to dilute or reconstitute intravenous drugs.


Benzyl alcohol is usually used as an excipient in medical products that are administered intramuscularly, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs or antipsychotic drugs, where its anaesthetic properties minimize discomfort at the injection site. Benzyl alcohol is also found in intravenously administered pharmaceutical items, anti-cancer drugs, heparins, cardiovascular drugs. Benzyl alcohol is also used as a preservative in a variety of topical formulations, such as antifungal and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Benzyl alcohol is a prescription topical medicine for the skin used as an anti-parasite treatment. Benzyl alcohol topical is only used for the treatment of head lice. It will not handle lice in other parts of the body.Benzaldehyde can react with biogenic amines based on the reaction of Pictet and Spengler. It may lead to the formation of corresponding tetrahydroisoquinolines and beta-carbolines, which are pharmacologically active derivatives. Since benzyl alcohol is rapidly metabolized in benzoic acid after administration, it is necessary to consult your benzyl alcohol suppliers before use. Its oxidation product, benzoic acid, is still present and can be used for kinetic applications.