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Croscarmellose Sodium – The Polymer in Demand

Croscarmellose Sodium used in pharmaceutical formulation as a disintegrant

Actively used in the pharmaceutical market, this super disintegrant is commonly used as an additive. The additive enjoys its position in the market where it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mainly used in tablets including dietary supplements, it has several amazing features that add to its already long list of beneficial attributes.

Few of the beneficial configurations are:

  • Water solubility and absorption
  • Superior drug dissolution and disintegration
  • Soluble in Gastrointestinal tract
  • Emulsifier

The Utility Scope

Croscarmellose Sodium or more commonly known as Sodium CMC, is a cross-connected polymer of carboxymethylcellulose sodium. This white, free streaming powder encourages the separation of a tablet in the intestinal tract. Made mainly by soaking crude cellulose in Sodium Hydroxide, and then reacting the cellulose with Sodium Monochloroacetate to form sodium carboxymethylcellulose. The excess sodium Monochloroacetate slowly hydrolyses to glycolic acid and it catalyses the cross linkage to form Croscarmellose sodium. Chemically, croscarmellose sodium is the sodium salt of a cross-linked, partly O-(carboxymethylated) cellulose. It has come a long way from being a stabilizer in horse supplement to become one of the most sort after polymer in pharma industry. Henceforth, the cross-linking structure allows the polymer to have enhanced bioavailability of the drug through its superior drug dissolution. When used in normal quantities, it is generally safe for consumption.

The Flip Side

Croscarmellose sodium’s ability to expand and absorb fluids has made it an ideal vehicle for drug and supplement delivery. This allows the drugs or supplements greater access to fluids to aid drug solubility. And herein, the biggest flaw of this polymer lies. In its large dose, it has the ability to create intestinal blockage if consumed at roughly the same. Industrial workers producing this polymer may be the most likely people to encounter large enough samples to cause this symptom.

Furthermore, due to its fluid solubility component, if medicines and supplements with Croscarmellose sodium are left out of their containers, they absorb moisture from the air. This causes the drug to get released in the stomach instead of the intestine. This premature release of drug renders it unfit for further consumption.
Except few of deviants, the polymer has no noteworthy side effect as such. The exception occurs only with persons suffering from Celiac’s disease.

The Future Market

Possessing very diverse features and benefits, highly desirable for various industrial and medical applications, Croscarmellose Sodium is strategically developed to become economically viable. This industrial polymer has two different states with wet blending and hot blending. This fibrous white powder with its extreme features of solubility is all set in the market to be slotted as the next big polymer in pharma companies.