Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Polyvidon; Polyvinylpyrrolidone-iodine; Polyvinylpyrrolidones CAS No: 9003-39-8; Povidone; PVP

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Polyvinylpyrrolidone is a polymeric plastic produced from vinylpyrrolidone building blocks. The substance consists of a mixture of different length chains of polymerized mono-N-vinylpyrrolidone homologues. The substance is soluble in water and alcohol, and insoluble in ether.

Polyvinylpyrrolidone can bind other molecules firmly to itself, e.g. vitamins and flavours. The substance is not absorbed by the intestine.

Field of application/use
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Medically, the substance is used as a blood plasma substitute, as a carrier substance in vaccines, for detoxification in intoxications and as a binder for tablet granules, for creams or shaking mixtures. Widely used are iodine-containing polyvinylpyrrolidone externa (ointments, solutions)

Cosmetics: Due to its special adhesion properties, polyvinylpyrrolidone is also used in hairsprays, hair fixers, creams and adhesives.

  • PVP/Dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate copolymer (INCI)
  • PVP/dimethicone acrylate/polycarbamyl/polyglycol ester (INCI)
  • PVP decene copolymer (INCI)

From a food technology point of view, the substance is approved as a food supplement in the EU under the number E 1201 with no maximum quantity restriction. Polyvinylpyrrolidone is used as an additive in wine and beer production to remove unwanted turbidity substances. This technical procedure does not have to be declared. The substance can only be used in dragées/ tablets containing vitamins, minerals, ginger extract, salmon oil, L-carnitine or other food supplements.

Undesirable effects
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Anaphylactic reactions after large area applications of povidone-containing externals are described.

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Polyvinylpyrrolidone is considered safe in food.

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  1. Adachi A et al (2003) Anaphylaxis to polyvinylpyrrolidone after vaginal application of povidone-iodine. Contact dermatitis 48:133-136. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12755725
  2. Liu Y et al (2016) Polyvinylpyrrolidone-Poly(ethylene glycol) Modified Silver Nanorods Can Be a Safe, Noncarrier Adjuvant for HIV Vaccines. ACS Nano 10:3589-3596.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26844372
  3. Ma Y et al (2016) The physical and chemical properties of the polyvinyl alcohol/polyvinylpyrrolidone/hydroxyapatite composite hydrogel. Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 59:948-957.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26652
  4. Yoshida K et al (2008) Anaphylaxis to polyvinylpyrrolidone in povidone-iodine for impetigo contagiosum in a boy with atopic dermatitis. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 146:169-173.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18204285
  5. Yusif RM et al (2016) Investigation and Evaluation of an in Situ Interpolymer Complex of Carbopol with Polyvinylpyrrolidone as a Matrix for Gastroretentive Tablets of Ranitidine Hydrochloride. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 64:42-51. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26726743


Last updated on: 29.10.2020