Do my medications contain nanoparticles?

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5. December 2019

Yes, drugs available in pharmacies, shops, at the doctor’s or in hospitals may contain nanoparticulate ingredients because of their specific use to improve or enhance their efficacy. Both nanoparticles and liposomes are used for these purposes (see also “What is the difference between nanoparticles and liposomes?“). The number of drugs containing nanomaterials in the regulatory process is still low. These include, for example, drugs for the treatment of tumour diseases, chronic hepatitis, acromegaly (giant growth), multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with elevated LDL-C values or type 2 diabetes (see also or crosscutting text “Nanomedicine“).

In addition to the active ingredient, drugs also contain fillers and additives such as water, starch, vaseline or highly dispersed silicon dioxide. Due to the production process, silicon dioxide nanoparticles may also be generated. At present, pharmaceutical manufacturers are not obliged to label nanoscale ingredients in their medicines.

Further information can be found on the following websites of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

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