Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol Chemical formula
Synonyms: Alcohol isopropílico; Alcohol isopropylicus; Alkohol izopropylowy; Dimethyl Carbinol; Isopropanol; Isopropylalkohol; Isopropylique, alcool; Isopropyylialkoholi; Izopropil Alkol; Izopropil-alkohol; Izopropilo alkoholis; 2-Propanol; Secondary Propyl Alcohol. Propan-2-ol.
Cyrillic synonym: Изопропиловый Спирт.

💊 Chemical information

Chemical formula: (CH3)2CHOH = 60.10.
CAS — 67-63-0.
ATC — D08AX05.
ATC Vet — QD08AX05.


In Eur., Int., Jpn, and US.

Ph. Eur. 6.2

(Isopropyl Alcohol). A clear colourless liquid. Miscible with water and with alcohol. Protect from light.

USP 31

(Isopropyl Alcohol). A transparent, colourless, mobile, volatile, flammable liquid with a characteristic odour. Miscible with water, with alcohol, with chloroform, and with ether. Store in airtight containers remote from heat.

💊 Adverse Effects, Treatment, and Precautions

Isopropyl alcohol is considered to be more toxic than ethyl alcohol, and the symptoms of intoxication appear to be similar, except that isopropyl alcohol has no initial euphoric action and gastritis, haemorrhage, pain, nausea, and vomiting are more prominent. The lethal oral dose is reported to be about 120 to 240 mL in adults; however, toxic symptoms may be produced by as little as 20 mL. Ketoacidosis and ketonuria commonly occur due to the presence of the major metabolite, acetone, in the circulation. Inhalation of isopropyl alcohol vapour has been reported to produce coma. Application of isopropyl alcohol to the skin may cause dryness and irritation; suitable precautions should be taken to prevent absorption through the skin, particularly in infants. Treatment of adverse effects is as for Alcohol.
1. WHO. 2-Propanol. Environmental Health Criteria 103. Geneva: WHO, 1990. Available at: ehc/ehc/ehc103.htm (accessed 15/03/06)


Reports of chemical skin burns caused by the topical application of isopropyl alcohol in premature infants.1,2 Haemorrhagic gastritis in a 2-year-old febrile child was attributed to topical absorption of isopropyl alcohol that had been used for sponge bathing and followed by wrapping the child tightly in a blanket.3
1. Schick JB, Milstein JM. Burn hazard of isopropyl alcohol in the neonate. Pediatrics 1981; 68: 587–8
2. Weintraub Z, Iancu TC. Isopropyl alcohol burns. Pediatrics 1982; 69: 506
3. Dyer S, et al. Hemorrhagic gastritis from topical isopropanol exposure. Ann Pharmacother 2002; 36: 1733–5.

Rectal absorption.

Intoxication and raised serum-creatinine concentrations due to absorption of isopropyl alcohol followed its use as a rectal douche.1 An 85-year-old woman who accidentally received an isopropyl alcohol enema developed rapid CNS depression, renal failure, and metabolic acidosis. She became comatose within 15 minutes and died 12 hours later after a cardiac arrest. Post-mortem examination showed necrosis of the colon.2
1. Barnett JM, et al. Intoxication after an isopropyl alcohol enema. Ann Intern Med 1990; 113: 638–9
2. Haviv YS, et al. Accidental isopropyl alcohol enema leading to coma and death. Am J Gastroenterol 1998; 93: 850–1.

💊 Pharmacokinetics

Isopropyl alcohol is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract but there appears to be little absorption through intact skin. The vapour may be absorbed through the lungs. Isopropyl alcohol is metabolised more slowly than ethyl alcohol and about 15% of an ingested dose is metabolised to acetone.

💊 Uses and Administration

Isopropyl alcohol is an antiseptic with bactericidal properties similar to those of alcohol. It is used for pre-operative skin cleansing in concentrations of about 60 to 70%, and is an ingredient of preparations used for disinfection of hands and surfaces. Its marked degreasing properties may limit its usefulness in preparations used repeatedly. It is also used as a solvent, especially in cosmetics, perfumes and pharmaceutical preparations, and as a vehicle for other disinfectant compounds. Propyl alcohol is also used as an antiseptic.

💊 Preparations

USP 31: Azeotropic Isopropyl Alcohol; Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol.

Proprietary Preparations

Canad.: Alcojel†; Auro-Dri; Duonalc; Ger.: Aktivin; S.Afr.: Medi-Swab; Switz.: Avitracid†; Turk.: Opak; UK: Alcowipe; Medi-Swab; Sterets; Steriwipe; USA: Auro-Dri; Venez.: Gel Secante†. Multi-ingredient: Arg.: Sincerum Dry; Austral.: Aqua Ear; Ear Clear for Swimmer’s Ear; Unisolve†; Austria: Braunoderm; Dodesept; Dodesept Gefarbt; Dodesept N; Kodan; Marcocid; Mycopol; Octeniderm; Skinsept; Belg.: Braunoderm; Canad.: Baxedin 2% - 70%; Duonalc-E; Swim-Ear†; Chile: NP-27; Solarcaine Spray Aerosol; Cz.: Promanum N; Softa-Man; Fr.: Clinogel; Manugel; Spitaderm†; Sterillium†; Ger.: Autoderm Extra; Bacillol; Bacillol AF; Bacillol plus; Betaseptic; Braunoderm; Cutasept; Desmanol†; Dibromol; Freka-Steril; Gercid forte†; Helipur H plus N; Incidin; Incidin M Spray Extra†; Kodan Tinktur Forte†; Mucasept-A; Neo Kodan†; Olbas; Poly-Alkohol; Primasept Med†; Promanum N; Rutisept extra; Sagrosept†; Sekucid konz†; Skinman Soft; Skinsept F; Skinsept G; Softasept N; Spitacid; St-Tissues; Sterillium; Gr.: Chiro Des; Cutasept; Octeniderm; Sterillium; Hong Kong: Hibisol†; Indon.: Mexochrome; Spitaderm; Irl.: Biofreeze; Hibisol; Israel: Dryears; Monorapid; Skin Des; Sterets H; Ital.: Bergon†; Braunoderm; Citromed; Clorexan; Eso Ferri Alcolico Plus; Eso Ferri Plus; Esocetic Plus; Esocetic†; Panseptil; SaniSteril Strumenti Alcolico†; Sekucid; Spitaderm; Neth.: Hibisol; Spitaderm; Sterillium; NZ: Aqua Ear†; Port.: Braunoderm; Promanum; Softasept; Singapore: Tri-Cidal†; Switz.: Betaseptic; Braunoderm; Cutasept; Desamon; Dolo-Arthrosenex sine Heparino†; Ederphyt†; Hibital; Hibitane Teinture; Kodan Teinture forte; Octeniderm; Promanum N; Softa-Man; Softasept N; Sterillium†; UK: ChloraPrep; Hibisol; Manusept; Medi-Swab H; Sterets H; Swim-Ear; USA: BactoShield; Blue Ice Gel; Cresylate; Dri/Ear; Ear-Dry; Fungi-Nail; Klout; Swim-Ear; Tinver.
Published January 15, 2019.