75 Uses of Alcohol in Medicine

75 Uses of Alcohol in Medicine

Alcohol is known as an intoxicating drink. Though most people drink alcohol as a social drink that is not the only use for alcohol. Alcohol plays a lifesaving role in our lives, it’s used as medicine.

Alcohol is a disinfectant, a solvent for extraction of medicinal compounds, and a cleaning agent. There are four types of alcohols;

1. Ethyl alcohol

2. Methyl alcohol

3. Propyl alcohol

4. Butyl alcohol

Just one type of alcohol ethyl alcohol is used as a beverage drink, it’s made from ethanol. Ethanol is the intoxicating agent found in beer, wine, and liquor.

It’s produced by fermentation. Fruits, like grapes, grains, like barley, wheat, maize, rice, are mixed with yeast and sugar, and allowed to ferment to produce Ethanol alcohol.

The other three types of alcohol are used as raw materials for the production of different compounds, mostly in the pharmaceutical industry.

These three types if taken orally may have adverse effects on health. This can include, blindness and death. Methyl alcohol, Propyl alcohol, and Butyl alcohol have an important role in medicine.

Alcohol has bactericidal properties. Its therefore used as a topical disinfectant in hand gels. In addition, It can be used as a solvent and a preservative in pharmaceutical preparations.

Here is a simple example of how alcohol is used as medicine. Every time you walk into a doctor’s office and receive a jab. The cotton used to clean the injection area and to stem bleeding after the injection is usually soaked in alcohol.

Doctors, nurses and medical practitioners, disinfect their hands in alcoholic solutions before handling patients. During surgery, the surgical area is cleaned with alcohol to stem infections.

Let’s see how alcohol is used in life-saving situations in the medical field;

 

Historical uses of Medicinal Alcohol

1. Wound Dresser

In the olden day’s alcohol was used as an antiseptic, poured over wounds, and as an antidote for snake bites. Until recently alcohol was used as a mild sedative. Patients were given a drink of whiskey before an operation.

2. Cough and Cold Remedy

In Germany, a beer named Jägermeister was developed as a digestif. It was a popular cough remedy, believed to clear minor colds and congestion. A shot of cold Jägermeister was said to soothe a sore throat and to clear the common cold.

3. Hand Disinfectant

During the Sars, epidemic alcohol was used as a hand disinfectant.

Modern use of Medicinal Alcohol

4. The antidote for Methanol Poisoning

Accidental consumption of methanol will lead to excruciating pain leading to death. Methanol breaks down in the body to form formaldehyde and formic acid, both dangerous chemicals, Alcohol neutralizes the methanol.

5. As a local rubefacient:

When applied to the skin, it leads to the dilation of blood vessels. The skin area becomes tender and absorbent to medicinal ointment application.

6. Used as a diluent

Very low amounts of drugs can be diluted in low quantities of alcohol. In these low quantities, alcohol is harmless to the body and increases the drug’s volume. This is common in homeopathy treatment.

7. Used as a solvent

Alcoholic ethanol is an excellent solvent for many drugs. This increases the concentration of the solid drug matter. This can also be used for filtration, distillation, and removal of impurities from the drug.

8. Used as a pain reliever

In extreme pain for example in cancer patients, alcohol is usually injected near the affected area to deaden the nerve endings, this leads to pain reduction.

9. As an Antiseptic

Alcohol is used to clean scratches and mild wounds, it can also be used to sterilize medical equipment like needles injections, surgical blades, forceps, etc.

10. As a Preservative

Laboratory Specimens which may include both plant and animal are usually preserved in alcohol, the bactericidal properties of alcohol destroy microbes and other harmful bacteria.

11. As an Extractor

As a good solvent, alcohol is used for the extraction of active ingredients from plants and other specimens. The extraction is done by steam distillation. Due to the low boiling point, alcohol easily evaporates and then percolates through the solid material.

12. As a cleaning agent

Alcohol is used as a cleaning agent in hospitals and medical facilities, including industrial cleaning.

13. Laboratory Staining

When carrying out experiments on plant tissue and animal tissue, staining the specimen with alcohol helps highlight the specimen under the microscope.

14. Laboratory Sanitation

Alcohol is used in cleaning laboratories to get rid of microbial contamination.

15. Crystallization and extraction

When a compound is prepared by chemical reaction, it is usually in liquid form. Alcohol is used in heating to crystallize the compound.

16. Cleaning Stains

Hospital garbs, scrubs, and doctor’s coats are cleaned using alcohol to get rid of stains and to disinfect them.

17. Solvent for Analysis

Chemistry analytical processes like Chromatography analysis use Ethanol, Methanol, and Isopropanol. These analytical techniques require the separation of a component of the mixture, alcohol plays an important role in the separation process.

18. Lighting Laboratories

Laboratories use ethanol lamps to light up, ethanol burns cleanly and doesn’t leave soot.

Alcohol in Medicine

Alcohol is an important ingredient in medicines. cough syrups, respiratory treatment drugs, and pain relievers, contain a high percentage of Alcohol. Here is a list of several drugs that have alcohol as an important ingredient.

19. Amoxicillin trihydrate

Amoxicillin is used in the treatment of bacterial infection and endocarditis prevention. It treats anthrax prophylaxis; actinomycosis; and dental abscess. It contains alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and propylene glycol as active ingredients.

20. Atazanavir Sulfate

Atazanavir is used in the treatment of HIV infections. It contains isopropyl alcohol, and propylene glycol alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and propylene glycol as active ingredients.

21. Hydrochloride Extended-Release

Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets, USP are oral antihyperglycemic drugs used in the management of type 2 diabetes. They contain alcohol.

22. Bupropion Hydrochloride

Bupropion is used in the treatment of depressive disorders. It is a miscellaneous antidepressant used under controlled substances Act it contains isopropyl alcohol.

23. Doxycycline Hyclate

Doxycycline is used in the treatment of acne, amebiasis; gonococcal infection, it contains butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, alcohol.

24. Fluoxetine Hydrochloride

Fluoxetine is used in the treatment of stress management, including anxiety it contains butyl alcohol

25. Gabapentin

Gabapentin is used in the treatment of epilepsy, amongst its other ingredients. It contains alcohol and isopropyl alcohol

26. Omeprazole Delayed-Release

Omeprazole is used in the treatment of esophagus infections and contains isopropyl alcohol.

27. Phentermine Hydrochloride

Phentermine is used in the treatment of obesity, it contains, isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, and propylene glycol.

28. Tamsulosin Hydrochloride

Tamsulosin is used in the treatment of hyperplasia, it contains alcohol isopropyl alcohol.

29. Temazepam

Temazepam is used in the treatment of insomnia it contains alcohol isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol.

30. Temodar Temozolomide

Temodar is used in the treatment of anaplastic astrocytoma it contains alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol.

31. Tizanidine Hydrochloride

Tizanidine is a relaxant used in the treatment of muscle spasm it contains alcohol isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol.

32. Zonisamide

Zonisamide is an inhibitor anticonvulsant used in the treatment of seizure. It contains alcohol isopropyl alcohol and butyl alcohol

33. Actol Expectorant

Actol expectorant is used to treat coughs and congestion caused by the common cold, bronchitis, and other breathing illnesses it has isopropyl alcohol, and butyl alcohol.

34. Alamine

Alamine is used to relieve symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses temporarily it contains isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol.

35. Alomine C

Alomine is a combination drug is used to temporarily relieve symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses it contains isopropyl alcohol and butyl alcohol.

36. Ambenyl-D

Ambenyl is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing illnesses it contains an opioid cough suppressant it also contains isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol.

37. Anti-Tuss DM

Anti Tuss is used to treating coughs and congestion caused by the common cold, bronchitis, and other breathing illnesses it contains isopropyl alcohol and butyl alcohol.

38. Benadryl

Benadryl is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. It contains alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol.

39. Benylin

Benylin is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever, and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, itching, and watery eyes it contains isopropyl alcohol, butyl alcohol.

40. Black Draught

Black draught is used to treat constipation it contains isopropyl alcohol and propylene glycol as active ingredients.

41. Breacol

Breacol is used to treat coughs inflammation of the nose due to an allergy. Runny nose, Vasomotor rhinitis, cold symptoms, etc. it contains isopropyl alcohol, glycol, and butyl alcohol as active ingredients.

42. Cerose CM

It’s a combination drug used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing illnesses, it contains alcohol.

43. Cheracol

Cheracol has Codeine and is a combination drug used to treat cough and chest congestion caused by allergies. It contains isopropyl alcohol and propylene glycol as active ingredients.

44. Codimal DM

Codimal is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses. It has isopropyl alcohol and butyl alcohol.

45. Coltrex Expectorant

It used to treat Bronchiectasis, Bronchitis, Cough, and Fibromyalgia. It contains isopropyl alcohol and propylene glycol.

46. Contact Severe Cold

Contac Cold is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Contac Cold is used to treat nasal and sinus congestion; it contains isopropyl alcohol.

47. Dristan Cough

Dristan is a combination medication is used in treating symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses. It contains isopropyl alcohol and propylene glycol as an active ingredient.

48. Formula 44 Cough

Formula 44 is a cough suppressant. It contains alcohol isopropyl alcohol and propylene glycol as active ingredients.

49. Mercodol /Decaprin

It’s a combination drug-containing antitussives and expectorants, and nasal decongestants used to treat Cough and nasal congestion. It contains isopropyl alcohol and butyl alcohol.

50. Nortussin

Nortussin is used to treat coughs and congestion caused by the common cold, bronchitis, and other breathing illnesses, it contains isopropyl alcohol and butyl alcohol.

51. Novahistine Expectorant

Novahistine is used to treat nose stuffiness. It contains alcohol.

52. Nyquil

Nyquil is a combination of medicine composed of Acetaminophen, chlorpheniramine, and dextromethorphan. It is used to treat headache, fever, body aches, cough, runny nose, sneezing, itching, and watery eyes caused by allergies, it contains butyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.

53. Quiet Nite

Quiet nite is a combination drug used to temporarily treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses it contains butyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.

54. Robitussin CF

Robitussin is an expectorant that helps to loosen congestion in your chest and throat, making it easier to cough out through the mouth. It contains butyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.

55. Romilar III

It is a combination drug used to temporarily treat coughing and chest congestion it contains alcohol as an active ingredient.

56. Terpin Hydrate DM

Terpin hydrate is an expectorant, commonly used to loosen mucus and ease congestion in patients presenting with acute or chronic bronchitis, and related pulmonary conditions. It contains alcohol.

57. Tolu-Sed DM

Tolu-Sed is a combination drug used to relieve coughs caused by the common cold, bronchitis, and other breathing illnesses, it contains alcohol.it contains alcohol.

58. Tonecol

Tonecol is a cough oral syrup used to treat coughs, it contains isopropyl alcohol.

59. Triaminic Expectorant

Triaminic expectorant is used to treat symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing illnesses, it contains butyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.

60. Vicks Cough 5.0%

Vicks cough is used for the temporary treatment of cough, stuffy nose, and sinus pressure caused by infection or other breathing illnesses, it contains alcohol.

61. Viromed Liquid

Viromed is a combination drug used to temporarily treat cough, stuffy nose, body aches, and other symptoms. It contains butyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.

62. Wal-Act

Wal act is used to temporarily relieve symptoms caused by the common cold, flu, allergies, or other breathing illnesses it contains alcohol.

63. Antiemetic – Dramamine Liquid

Dimenhydrinate is an antihistamine used to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness. It contains butyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol.

64. Tempra Syrup & Drops

Tempra Syrup is used to treat mild to moderate pain (from headaches, menstrual periods, toothaches, backaches, osteoarthritis, etc. it contains alcohol.

65. Tylenol Liquid & Drops

This drug is used to treat mild to moderate pain, headaches, menstrual periods, toothaches, backaches, osteoarthritis, etc it contains butyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol.

66. Valadol

This drug is used to treat mild to moderate pain it contains butyl and isopropyl alcohol.

67. Anbesol Gel

Anbesol Gel contains benzocaine and is used as a local anesthetic. It blocks nerve endings and numbs the skin and mouth surface. Anbesol Gel is made of almost 70% alcohol.

68. Dent’s Toothache Drops

Dent’s Toothache Drops Are used to lessens the toothache pain it comprises almost 60% alcohol.

69. Gum-Zor

Gum zor is used to treat gum disease by in-depth cleaning. A deep cleaning goes under the gum line. Gum Zor is made of 20% alcohol.

70. Numzit

Numzit contains Benzocaine and alcohol, it’s used to relieve short term mouth pain from minor injuries it works by numbing the painful area.

71. Rid-A-Pain Dental Drops

Dental drops or Chlorhexidine is an antibiotic drug used to control plaque and gingivitis in the mouth or in periodontal pockets it has almost 20% alcohol.

72. Dental Gel

Corsodyl Dental Gel is used to treat gum disease, control recurring mouth ulcers, prevent cavities and maintain mouth hygiene it is made of 7.5% alcohol.

73. Teething Lotion

The teething lotion is made of Benzocaine and 4.5 % alcohol, it’s used as a mouth pain reliever.

74. Toothache Drops

Tooth Drops have almost 20% alcohol and Benzocaine. It’s used for toothache, canker sores, sore gums, throat, mouth, gum injury. It is a local anesthetic that works by numbing the painful place.

75. Phenergan Expectorant with Codeine

Phenergan has 7.5% alcohol, it’s used to treat allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, hives, and itchy skin rashes, it relieves pain after surgery, and is a sedative or sleep aid for insomnia.

These are a few drugs that contain alcohol as an active ingredient. Alcohol plays a major role in the pharmaceutical industry, in hospitals, and in medical facilities.

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