Polyvinyl alcohol



Polyvinyl alcohol is a compound used as an ophthalmic lubricant.

Brand Names
Clear Eyes Natural Tears, Freshkote, Minidrops, Refresh Lubricant, Stye
Generic Name
Polyvinyl alcohol
DrugBank Accession Number

Polyvinyl alcohol is a water-soluble synthetic polymer obtained by polymerization of vinyl alcohol. It has varying roles in commercial and industrial applications such as papermaking, textiles, and printing. Polyvinyl alcohol is found in ophthalmic solutions as a lubricant to prevent irritation or to relieve dryness of the eyes 4.

Small Molecule
  • Alcohol polivinílico
  • Polyvinyl alcohol
  • PVOH
External IDs
  • E-1203
  • INS-1203



For use as a lubricant to prevent further irritation or to relieve dryness of the eye(s) 6.

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Associated Conditions
Associated Therapies
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Temporarily relieves burning and irritation due to dryness of the eye or from exposure to wind or sun. Lubricates the eyes and helps protect against further eye irritation/dryness 7.

Mechanism of action

As a synthetic resin with hydrophilic properties, it increases the persistence of tear film and therefore lubricates and soothes dry/irritated eyes 9.


Polyvinyl alcohol is poorly absorbed from gastrointestinal tract, and readily eliminated from the body 5.

Volume of distribution

This drug does not accumulate in the body when administered orally 1.

Protein binding

Not Available

Not Available
Route of elimination

Not Available


When injected intravenously, polyvinyl alcohol has a half-life of 90 min 2.

Intraocularly, in eye drop form, the half-life is 7.2 minutes 3.


Not Available

Adverse Effects
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The oral acute toxicity of PVOH (LD50) in rats and mice are 20 g/kg and 14.7 g/kg, respectively 5. Adverse effects include eye pain and changes of vision, and redness or irritation of the eye 9.

Mild stinging or irritation of the eye, crusting of eyelid, eye pain, ocular hyperaemia, eye pruritus, foreign body sensation, eye discharge, and increased lacrimation may also occur 8.

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
Not Available
Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Akwa TearsSolution14 mg/1mLOphthalmicPreferreed Pharmaceuticals Inc.2010-11-222013-06-11US flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicA-S Medication Solutions2011-10-072018-06-30US flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicA S Medication Solutions2011-10-07Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicCardinal Health2011-11-15Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicA-S Medication Solutions1998-03-01Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsSolution1.4 %OphthalmicIvax Pharmaceuticals Incorporated1996-12-102015-10-26Canada flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicAkorn1998-03-01Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicPreferreed Pharmaceuticals Inc.2012-03-13Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicMwi2015-03-23Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsSolution / drops14 mg/1mLOphthalmicRugby Laboratories Inc.2011-10-072019-02-28US flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Artifical TearsPolyvinyl alcohol (0.05 g/1mL) + Povidone (0.06 g/1mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicmedsource pharmaceuticals2016-04-04Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsPolyvinyl alcohol (5 mg/1mL) + Povidone (6 mg/1mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicStrategic Sourcing Services LLC2012-03-012015-12-31US flag
Artificial TearsPolyvinyl alcohol (5 mg/1mL) + Povidone (6 mg/1mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicKc Pharmaceuticals, Inc.2003-11-25Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsPolyvinyl alcohol (0.5 g/100mL) + Povidone (0.6 g/100mL)SolutionOphthalmicNucare Pharmaceuticals,inc.2020-01-02Not applicableUS flag
Artificial Tears ExtraPolyvinyl alcohol (1.4 %) + Povidone (0.6 %)SolutionOphthalmicPharmascience Inc1997-05-162016-10-31Canada flag
Artificial Tears Lubricant EyePolyvinyl alcohol (5.0 mg/1mL) + Povidone (6.0 mg/1mL)LiquidOphthalmicPrestige Brands Holdings, Inc.2012-06-01Not applicableUS flag
Artificial Tears Lubricant EyePolyvinyl alcohol (500 mg/100mL) + Povidone (600 mg/100mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicWinCo Foods, LLC2015-01-09Not applicableUS flag
Artificial Tears PlusPolyvinyl alcohol (1.4 %) + Povidone (0.6 %)SolutionOphthalmicIvax Pharmaceuticals Incorporated1996-12-102015-10-26Canada flag
Best Choice Artificial TearsPolyvinyl alcohol (0.5 g/100mL) + Povidone (0.6 g/100mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicBest Choice2023-03-21Not applicableUS flag
CareOne Artificial Tears Eye Drops 15mLPolyvinyl alcohol (0.5 g/100mL) + Povidone (0.6 g/100mL)LiquidOphthalmicRetail Business Services, LLC2019-10-29Not applicableUS flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
SICCAPROTECT 10 ML GOZ DAMLASIPolyvinyl alcohol (14 mg/ml) + Dexpanthenol (30 mg/ml)Solution / dropsOphthalmicBİEM İLAÇ SAN. VE TİC. A.Ş.2020-08-142020-12-09Turkey flag


Drug Categories
Not classified
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number


General References
  1. DeMerlis CC, Schoneker DR: Review of the oral toxicity of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Food Chem Toxicol. 2003 Mar;41(3):319-26. [Article]
  2. Yamaoka T, Tabata Y, Ikada Y: Comparison of body distribution of poly(vinyl alcohol) with other water-soluble polymers after intravenous administration. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1995 Jun;47(6):479-86. [Article]
  3. O'Connor, Davies, G.A. Hopkins, R.M. Hopkins (2014). The Actions and Uses of Ophthalmic Drugs. Butterworth-Heinemann.
  4. Polyvinyl alcohol, PubChem [Link]
  5. Polivinyl Alcohol Review [Link]
  6. Daily Med, Artificial Tears [Link]
  7. HYPOTEARS - polyvinyl alcohol and polyehtylene glycol 400 solution/ drops [Link]
  8. MIMS, Polyvinyl Alcohol [Link]
  9. Pediatrics On Call: Polyvinyl Alcohol [Link]
  10. Express Chemist: Allergan Liquifilm Tears (polyvinyl alcohol) ocular lubricant [Link]
  11. European Food Safety Document [File]
PubChem Substance
Download (65.3 KB)

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4CompletedTreatmentDry Eyes1
2Unknown StatusTreatmentNuclear Cataract1
1RecruitingTreatmentMalignant Neoplasm in the Head and Neck / Metastatic Malignant Neoplasm in the Head and Neck1
Not AvailableCompletedTreatmentDry Eye Syndrome (DES)1


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage Forms
SolutionIntraocular; Ophthalmic14 mg
SolutionOphthalmic14 mg/1mL
SolutionConjunctival; Ophthalmic10 mg
SolutionOphthalmic1.4 %
Solution / drops; suspension / dropsOphthalmic
SolutionConjunctival; Ophthalmic14 mg
Solution / dropsOphthalmic14 mg/1mL
Solution / dropsIntraocular
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1 %
SolutionOphthalmic; Topical14 mg
SolutionOphthalmic0.014 %
Solution / dropsOphthalmic3 %
SuspensionOphthalmic14 mg
SolutionConjunctival; Ophthalmic
SolutionConjunctival; Ophthalmic12 mg
SolutionOphthalmic14 mg
LiquidOphthalmic1.4 %
For solutionTopical5 mg/1mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1.4 %
Solution / dropsOphthalmic
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1.4 g/100mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1 % w/v
SolutionIntraocular14 mg/1mL
Not Available
Not Available


Experimental Properties
water solubilitysoluble in water (slightly)MSDS
Predicted Properties
Not Available
Predicted ADMET Features
Not Available


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
Not Available

Drug created at December 03, 2015 16:51 / Updated at March 24, 2023 20:20