Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Croscarmellose sodium, or sodium CMC, is a cross-linked polymer of carboxymethylcellulose sodium. It appears as white, fibrous, free-flowing powder, and is used commonly as an FDA-approved disintegrant in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Disintegrants facilitate the breakup of a tablet in the intestinal tract after oral administration. Cross-linking allows enhanced bioavailability of the drug through superior drug dissolution. Without a disintegrant, tablets may not dissolve appropriately and may effect the amount of active ingredient absorbed, thereby decreasing effectiveness.
According to the FDA Select Committee on GRAS food substances, carboxymethylcellulose sodium is virtually unabsorbed. Caroxymethylcellulose sodium is generally regarded as safe when used in normal quantities.