Glycerol

What other names is Glycerol known by?

1,2,3-propanetriol, Alcool Glycériné, Glicerol, Glucerite, Glycerin, Glycerine, Glycérine, Glycérine Végétale, Glycerol Monostearate, Glycérol, Glycerolum, Glyceryl Alcohol, Monostéarate de Glycérol, Vegetable Glycerin.

What is Glycerol?

Glycerol is a naturally occurring chemical. People use it as a medicine. Some uses and dosage forms have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Glycerol is taken by mouth for weight loss, improving exercise performance, helping the body replace water lost during diarrhea and vomiting, and reducing pressure inside the eye in people with glaucoma. Athletes also use glycerol to keep from becoming dehydrated.

Healthcare providers sometimes give glycerol intravenously (by IV) to reduce pressure inside the brain in various conditions including stroke, meningitis, encephalitis, Reye's syndrome, pseudotumor cerebri, central nervous system (CNS) trauma, and CNS tumors; for reducing brain volume for neurosurgical procedures; and for treating fainting on standing due to poor blood flow to the brain (postural syncope).

Some people apply glycerol to the skin as a moisturizer.

Eye doctors sometimes put a solution that contains glycerol in the eye to reduce fluid in the cornea before an eye exam.

Rectally, glycerol is used as a laxative.

Likely Effective for...

Possibly Ineffective for...

Likely Ineffective for...

  • Improving exercise performance when taken by mouth.
  • Treating acute stroke when used intravenously.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Helping maintain the body's water levels (hydration) in athletes and people with intestinal problems.
  • Wrinkled skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate glycerol for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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