Accession Number

Hypromellose, or hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) 8, is a semisynthetic, inert, and viscoelastic polymer that forms a colloid solution when dissolved in water. It acts as a thickening agent, coating polymer, bioadhesive, solubility enhancer in solid dispersions, and binder in the process of granulation and in modified release formulations 2. It is a commonly used as a delivery component in oral pharmaceutical products that provides the release of a drug in a controlled fashion, effectively increasing the duration of release of a drug to prolong its therapeutic effects 1. Hypromellose is also found in eye drops as a lubricant 3.

Small Molecule
  • Cellulose hydroxypropyl methyl ether
  • Cellulose, 2-hydroxypropyl methyl ether
  • Hipromelosa
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 2208
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 2910
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 4000
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcelluloses
  • Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose
  • Hypromellose
  • Hypromelloses



Protectant (ophthalmic) 4

Tears (artificial) 4

Lubricant (ophthalmic) 4

Diagnostic aid (contact lens procedures; gonioscopy) 4

Associated Conditions
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Hypromellose is the most commonly used in hydrophilic matrix fabrication. It allows for controlled release of drug substances, increasing duration of therapeutic effects 3. The physical characteristics of this drug resemble natural tears, providing lubrication to the ocular surface and maintaining corneal hydration in dry eye syndromes 7.

Hypromellose is considered an inert substance as it has no direct pharmacological activity. The viscosity promoting properties of hypromellose prolong the retention time and improve adhesion of synthetic tears to the cornea and conjunctiva. As a result, the tear film breakdown time is prolonged and/or the tear film stability is enhanced. A stable tear film protects the cornea from dryness and epithelial cells 6.

Hypromellose is a methyl and hydroxypropyl mixed ether of cellulose. It is utilized as artificial tears to prevent conjunctival and corneal damage due to impaired lacrimal secretions. It is also used as a visco-elastic promoting agent by maintaining a deep, viscous chamber and allowing for easier manipulation, helping the vitreous surface to be pushed back, thus preventing the formation of a postoperative flat chamber 5.

Mechanism of action

Promotes corneal wetting by the stabilization and thickening the precorneal tear film and prolonging the tear film breakdown time, which is usually shortened in dry eye conditions. Hypromellose also acts to lubricate and protect the eye 6.

The surface active properties of the vehicles found in artificial tears solutions act to stabilize the tear film and increase tear viscosity to prevent delay tear evaporation and delay tear drainage 4.

In the intact eye, the corneal surface is moistened primarily by the mucin that is produced in the conjunctiva. Mucin is adsorbed on the corneal surface and forms a hydrophilic surface. This creates a moisture barrier. In the typical dry eye, and particularly in case of mucin deficiency, the application of artificial tear fluid is highly recommended. Both its surface activity and its adsorptive capacity make hypromellose optimal for this use. Hypromellose has a physical-chemical action and leads to, in an aqueous solution, a reduced surface tension as well as an increased level of viscosity. Hypromellose adheres well to the cornea and conjunctiva and provides ample moisture. Irritation symptoms caused by blinking, which occur in the case of tear fluid deficiency, are therefore decreased and symptoms of epithelial desiccation are also alleviated 6.

UEpithelial cell adhesion moleculeNot AvailableHumans

Not systemically absorbed 6.

Volume of distribution
Not Available
Protein binding
Not Available
Not Available
Route of elimination
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Adverse Effects
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LD 50 (Rat): > 5 g/kg MSDS.

Hypromellose is considered low toxicity to non-toxic 8.

Adverse events may include blurred vision and contact dermatitis 4. Hypersensitivity and intolerance reactions may occur (for example, eye burning, pain, increased lacrimation, a sensation of foreign body, conjunctival hyperemia, eyelid swelling, pruritus). The stickiness sensation of the eyelids, the decreased sense of smell, photosensitivity 6.

Affected organisms
Not Available
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.


Product Ingredients
IngredientUNIICASInChI Key
Hypromellose 2208 (100 mpa.s)B1QE5P712KNot AvailableNot applicable
Hypromellose 2208 (15000 mpa.s)Z78RG6M2N2Not AvailableNot applicable
Hypromellose 2906 (4000 mpa.s)5EYA69XGATNot AvailableNot applicable
Hypromellose 2906 (50 mpa.s)612E703ZUQNot AvailableNot applicable
Hypromellose 2910 (15 mpa.s)36SFW2JZ0WNot AvailableNot applicable
Hypromellose 2910 (15000 mpa.s)288VBX44JCNot AvailableNot applicable
Hypromellose 2910 (3 mpa.s)0VUT3PMY82Not AvailableNot applicable
Hypromellose 2910 (4000 mpa.s)RN3152OP35Not AvailableNot applicable
International/Other Brands
Hymelose / Hyprosol / Ikleen / Intavis / Irimist / Melose / Melose Drop / Methocel / Naifa / Optichlor / Takflur
Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
EntrocelSolution18 mg/1mLOralMallinckrodt2009-06-012012-10-31US flag
GoniotaireSolution25 mg/1mLOphthalmicAltaire Pharmaceuticals Inc.2002-01-18Not applicableUS flag
Mc Methylcellulose Solution 1%SolutionRectalE Z Em, Inc.1982-12-312009-08-04Canada flag
Additional Data Available
  • Application Number
    Application Number

    A unique ID assigned by the FDA when a product is submitted for approval by the labeller.

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  • Product Code
    Product Code

    A governmentally-recognized ID which uniquely identifies the product within its regulatory market.

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Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Artelac Lubricant Eye DropsSolutionOphthalmicBausch & Lomb Inc2005-03-252008-07-28Canada flag
Corneo HypromelloseSolutionOphthalmicOrimed Pharma Corporation2015-09-16Not applicableCanada flag
GentealSolutionOphthalmicAlcon, Inc.1997-10-17Not applicableCanada flag
Genteal GelGelOphthalmicAlcon, Inc.2002-10-232016-05-30Canada flag
GenTeal MildLiquid200 mg/1LOphthalmicNovartis Pharmaceutical Corporation2009-09-14Not applicableUS flag
GenTeal Mild to ModerateLiquid300 mg/1LOphthalmicNovartis Pharmaceutical Corporation2009-09-142017-10-31US flag
GenTeal SevereGel.003 g/1gOphthalmicNovartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation2009-09-142021-08-31US flag
GenTeal Tears SevereGel.003 g/1gOphthalmicALCON LABORATORIES, INC.2019-12-14Not applicableUS flag
GoniosoftLiquid25 mg/1mLOphthalmicOCuSOFT, INC.1989-10-02Not applicableUS flag
Goniovisc Ophthalmic LubricantSolution / drops25 mg/1mLOphthalmicHub Pharmaceuticals2011-11-10Not applicableUS flag
Additional Data Available
  • Application Number
    Application Number

    A unique ID assigned by the FDA when a product is submitted for approval by the labeller.

    Learn more
  • Product Code
    Product Code

    A governmentally-recognized ID which uniquely identifies the product within its regulatory market.

    Learn more
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Advanced Eye Relief/ Redness Maximum ReliefHypromellose (5 mg/1mL) + Naphazoline hydrochloride (0.3 mg/1mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicBausch & Lomb Incorporated2010-09-02Not applicableUS flag
Advanced Eye Relief/ Redness Maximum ReliefHypromellose (5 mg/1mL) + Naphazoline hydrochloride (0.3 mg/1mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicPreferreed Pharmaceuticals Inc.2010-09-02Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsHypromellose (2 mg/1mL) + Glycerin (2 mg/1mL) + Polyethylene glycol 400 (10 mg/1mL)LiquidOphthalmicAmerican Sales Company2010-09-06Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsHypromellose (0.2 %) + Glycerin (0.2 %)SolutionOphthalmicTEVA Canada Limited2011-04-19Not applicableCanada flag
Artificial TearsHypromellose (0.3 %) + Dextran (0.1 %)SolutionOphthalmicAlcon, Inc.2005-03-162009-02-24Canada flag
Artificial TearsHypromellose (0.002 mg/1mg) + Glycerin (0.002 mg/1mg) + Polyethylene glycol 400 (0.01 mg/1mg)Solution / dropsOphthalmicGeri-Care Pharmaceuticals, Corp2018-06-01Not applicableUS flag
Artificial TearsHypromellose (0.002 mg/1mg) + Glycerin (0.002 mg/1mg) + Polyethylene glycol 400 (0.01 mg/1mg)Solution / dropsOphthalmicNucare Pharmaceuticals,inc.2018-06-01Not applicableUS flag
Bion TearsHypromellose 2910 (4000 mpa.s) (3 mg/1mL) + Dextran 70 (1 mg/1mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicALCON LABORATORIES, INC.1992-10-19Not applicableUS flag
Bion Tears - Liq OphHypromellose (0.3 %) + Dextran 70 (0.1 %)Solution / dropsOphthalmicAlcon, Inc.1996-10-282016-10-20Canada flag
CAREALL Artifical TearsHypromellose (2 mg/1mL) + Glycerin (2 mg/1mL) + Polyethylene glycol 400 (10 mg/1mL)Solution / dropsOphthalmicNew World Imports, Inc2014-01-01Not applicableUS flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
EntrocelHypromellose (18 mg/1mL)SolutionOralMallinckrodt2009-06-012012-10-31US flag
Gonak HypromelloseHypromellose 2906 (4000 mpa.s) (25 mg/1mL) + Hypromellose 2906 (50 mpa.s) (25 mg/1mL)SolutionOphthalmicAkorn, Inc.1997-01-01Not applicableUS flag
Gonak HypromelloseHypromellose 2906 (4000 mpa.s) (25 mg/1mL) + Hypromellose 2906 (50 mpa.s) (25 mg/1mL)SolutionOphthalmicAkorn, Inc.1997-01-01Not applicableUS flag
GoniosoftHypromellose (25 mg/1mL)LiquidOphthalmicOCuSOFT, INC.1989-10-02Not applicableUS flag
GoniotaireHypromellose 2906 (4000 mpa.s) (25 mg/1mL)SolutionOphthalmicAltaire Pharmaceuticals Inc.2002-01-18Not applicableUS flag


ATC Codes
S01KA02 — Hypromellose
Drug Categories
Not classified

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number
InChI Key
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available
Not Available


General References
  1. Li CL, Martini LG, Ford JL, Roberts M: The use of hypromellose in oral drug delivery. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2005 May;57(5):533-46. [PubMed:15901342]
  2. Al-Tabakha MM: HPMC capsules: current status and future prospects. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2010;13(3):428-42. [PubMed:21092714]
  3. BION TEARS [Link]
  4. Hypromellose [Link]
  5. MIMS Hypromellose [Link]
  8. Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose [Link]
  9. DailyMed: Genteal Mild Eye Drops (hypromellose 0.2%) [Link]
PubChem Substance
AHFS Codes
  • 52:13.00* — Artificial Tears
  • 52:92.00 — EENT Drugs, Miscellaneous
  • 36:89.00* — Other Diagnostics
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4CompletedPreventionChronic Allergic Conjunctivitis1
4CompletedPreventionConjunctivitis, Seasonal Allergic1
4CompletedTreatmentAnterior Uveitis (AU) / Cystoid Macular Edema1
4CompletedTreatmentConjunctivitis allergic / Conjunctivitis, Seasonal Allergic1
4CompletedTreatmentCorneal Edema / Intraocular Pressure1
4CompletedTreatmentCorneal Epithelium Defect1
4CompletedTreatmentDry Eye Syndromes1
4CompletedTreatmentDry Eyes1
4CompletedTreatmentEndocrine ophthalmopathy1
4CompletedTreatmentGlaucoma / Ocular Hypertension4


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage Forms
SolutionOphthalmic2 %
Solution / drops; suspension / dropsOphthalmic3.2 mg/mL
Solution / drops; suspension / dropsOphthalmic1.92 mg/0/6mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic
SolutionOral18 mg/1mL
GelOral4 g/100g
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1.5 g/100mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1.4 g/100mL
GelOphthalmic300 mg/100g
Solution / dropsOphthalmic300 mg/100mL
LiquidOphthalmic200 mg/1L
LiquidOphthalmic300 mg/1L
GelOphthalmic.003 g/1g
LiquidOphthalmic25 mg/1mL
SolutionOphthalmic25 mg/1mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic25 mg/1mL
LiquidOphthalmic3 mg/10mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic0.32 %
SolutionOphthalmic5 mg/1mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic500 mg/100mL
SolutionConjunctival; Ophthalmic1 mg
SolutionConjunctival; Ophthalmic3 mg
SolutionOphthalmic3 mg
Solution / dropsOphthalmic4 mg/1mL
Kit; solutionIntraocular; Irrigation
Solution / dropsOphthalmic; Topical3 mg/1mL
LiquidOphthalmic3.5 mg/1mL
Solution / drops; suspension / dropsOphthalmic0.32 %
Solution / drops; suspension / dropsOphthalmic3 mg/ml
Solution / dropsOphthalmic1 mg/ml
Solution / dropsOphthalmic0.2 g/100mL
SolutionOphthalmic; Topical1 mg
GelOphthalmic3 mg/1g
Solution / dropsOphthalmic100 mg/100mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic17 mg/1mL
Solution / dropsOphthalmic
Not Available
Not Available


Not Available
Experimental Properties
water solubilitySoluble https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/usp/1330005?lang=en®ion=CA
Predicted Properties
Not Available
Predicted ADMET Features
Not Available


Mass Spec (NIST)
Not Available
Not Available


Pharmacological action
General Function
Protein complex binding
Specific Function
May act as a physical homophilic interaction molecule between intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) at the mucosal epithelium for providing immunological barrier...
Gene Name
Uniprot ID
Uniprot Name
Epithelial cell adhesion molecule
Molecular Weight
34932.005 Da
  1. Geerling G, Daniels JT, Dart JK, Cree IA, Khaw PT: Toxicity of natural tear substitutes in a fully defined culture model of human corneal epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2001 Apr;42(5):948-56. [PubMed:11274071]

Drug created on December 03, 2015 09:51 / Updated on October 27, 2020 11:13

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