Polyvinylpyrrolidone Excipients for Pharmaceuticals || Registration and toxicological data

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  • 5.1Registration

    5.1.1Pharmaceutical products

    An auxiliary such as povidone, crospovidone or copovidone cannot be registeredas such by the authorities for use in pharmaceutical products. In Europe, Japan orAmerica, it is always only possible to register a finished drug. There is no generalpositive or negative list of auxiliaries used in pharmaceuticals. It is only possibleto state in which countries pharmaceuticals that contain povidone, copovidoneand/or crospovidone are registered.

    In practice, a pharmaceutical preparation that contains povidone, copovidoneand/or crospovidone can only be registered if these auxiliaries meet the require-ments of the monographs in the pharmacopoeias that are regarded as mandatoryin the countries concerned. The products described in this book meet theserequirements (Table 183).

    The monograph Povidone is in stage 5 to be worldwide harmonized.

    5 Registration and toxicological data

    Table 183. Excipients of this book covered by pharmacopoeias

    Product Ph.Eur. USP-NF J.P./J.P.E.

    Povidone K 12 + + n. a.Povidone K 17 + + +Povidone K 25-90 + + +Crospovidone + + +Copovidone + + +

    n.a. = Monograph not available

  • 222 5 Registration and toxicological data in individual countries

    Pharmaceutical products that contain povidone, crospovidone or copovidonehave been registered in all important drug markets like Europa, USA, Japan etc.for parenteral, oral and topical administration.

    The following limitations apply to povidone in injectables:1. Japan

    Up to 2001 Povidone K 12 was only registered in one human injectable, andpovidone K 17 in different human preparations.

    2. EuropeThe use of povidone in finished parenteral preparations was regulated in Ger-many by the Federal Health Ministry in 1983 [214]: The K-value must be smaller than 18. The packaging and the package insert of the finished declaration must

    declare the quantity used. Attention must be drawn to the possibility of accumulation in the organism

    after frequent administration. For intramuscular administration a maximum of 50 mg of povidone is per-

    mitted per individual dose.

    Similar regulations also apply in other european countries. Master File (DMF)

    Drug Masters Files are only required for the registration of excipients not includ-ed in the Pharmacopoeias as monographs. Therefore for povidone, crospovidoneand copovidone a DMF is not needed for the registration of a drug containing oneof these excipients.


    While there are no such lists for pharmaceutical products, various countries havepositive lists regulating the use of auxiliaries in food. These lists include solubleand insoluble polyvinylpyrrolidone, though in some cases only for certain appli-cations.

  • 5.1 Registration 223 value

    In 1987 the World Health Organization (WHO + FAO) specified an Accepted Dai-ly Intake (ADI) value for soluble polyvinylpyrrolidone (povidone) in food of 050mg/kg body weight [372]. For Crospovidone the ADI value is not specified andtherefore no limit is given for the application in foods [215]. of povidone in the Europe and USA

    In the European Union soluble polyvinylpyrrolidone having a nominal K-value of25, 30, or 90 has got the E-number E 1201 for the use in dietary food supplementsin (coated) tablet form and in sweetener preparations.

    Povidone with an average molecular weight of 40 000 (povidone K 30) is regis-tered for use in the USA in the manufacture of the foods listed in Table 184, sub-ject to certain restrictions [487].

    In the USA, povidone with a number average molecular weight of 360 000(povidone K 90) is permitted for use as a clarifying agent for beer. The amountremaining in the beer must not exceed 10 ppm. status of crospovidone for use in food in different countries

    In the European Union insoluble polyvinylpyrrolidone (polyvinylpolypyrroli-done) has got the E-number E 1202 for the use in dietary food supplements in(coated) tablet form and in sweetener preparations.

    Table 184. Registration of povidone K 30 for use in food in the USA

    Food Purpose Conditions of use

    Wine Clarifying agent Residue

  • 224 5 Registration and toxicological data

    Crospovidone is usually registered as polyvinylpolypyrrolidone or PVPP in the USA for clarifying beverages and vinegar [488] and in all european andmany other countries for stabilizing and clarifying beer and wine.

    5.2Toxicological data

    5.2.1Povidone and crospovidone

    There are a large number of publications on the good tolerance of polyvinyl-pyrrolidone [127129, 131, 133134, 201, 225]. A complete list with assessments is tobe found in A Critical Review of the Kinetics and Toxicology of Polyvinylpyrroli-done by Robinson, Sullivan, Borzelleca and Schwartz, published in 1990 [225].

    Because of the good tolerance of povidone, its Accepted Daily Intake (ADI) wasadjusted to 050 mg/kg body weight by the FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committeefor Food Additives (JECFA) in 1987 [372].

    In 1983, the JECFA awarded crospovidone an ADI status of not specified, ason the basis of the available chemical, biochemical, toxicological and other data,the entire daily intake of the substance in the quantities to be expected did notrepresent any risk to health in the opinion of the JECFA. It therefore seemedunnecessary to set a numerical value for the ADI [215].

    Many toxicological and biochemical studies have been carried out with theindividual grades of povidone and crospovidone by the producers. They could beordered there.

    There is also a published study on renal elimination after intravenous admin-istration of povidone K 12 and K 17 in rats [97].

    The following summary of toxicological properties is taken from the book A Critical Review of the Kinetics and Toxicology of Polyvinylpyrrolidone [225]:

    Toxicology and SafetyAn extensive body of toxicological data in animals supports the biological inert-ness of PVP. The acute, subchronic, and chronic toxicity of orally administeredPVP is extremely low, with the only effect observed being diarrhea at high dosesdue to the osmotic action of PVP acting as a bulk purgative. Occasional observa-tions of minimal absorption with storage in mesenteric lymph nodes seem to beof no toxicological importance. PVP is neither a sensitizer nor an irritant. Thereare no reported adverse effects following oral administration in humans. The cur-rently permitted FAO/WHO ADI of 0 50 mg/kg body weight for food uses pro-vides an adequate margin of safety. There would appear to be no reason to restrictits oral or topical pharmaceutical use or topical cosmetic use in any way. Therehave been no reports of adverse effects following its use intravenously as a plasmaexpander, even after the administration of very large amounts. The only toxico-logical problems have involved the repeated injection of large amounts of thehigher molecular weight material into poorly perfused sites such as subcuta-

  • 5.2 Toxicological data 225

    neously and into the breast. If the use of PVP in injectables for repeated use isrestricted to PVP with a molecular weight less than K-18 in limited amounts (e. g.50 mg/i. m. dose) and the injection sites are varied, and intramuscular or intra-venous routes are used, then these problems should not occur. The repeated useof PVP in depot preparations, which could lead to excessive storage, is not to berecommended.


    Copovidone has no acute toxicity and does not irritate the skin or mucous mem-branes. Prolonged administration to rats and dogs was tolerated without recog-nizable undesirable side effects.

    A prenatal toxicity test on rats gave no indication of adverse effects.Many detailed toxicologiecal studies have been carried out by the producers

    where they could be ordered.


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