Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is it?
Fumaric acid (C4H4O4) is an organic acid widely found in nature, and is a component of organic biosynthesis is humans. Chemically, it is an unsaturated dicarboxylic acid. It exists as white or nearly white crystals, odorless with a very tart taste. Fumaric acid is generally nontoxic and nonirritant. Fumaric acid has been used in food and beverage products since the 1940s. Food research shows that fumaric acid can improve quality and reduce the costs of many food and beverage products. It is non-hygroscopic (absorbs no moisture). In the cosmetic industry, it is used as a bath salt cleaning agent for dentures. It also is used in animal feeds. Fumaric acid is used in oral pharmaceutical formulations and has been used clinically in the treatment of psoriasis. Dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera) is the methyl ester of fumaric acid, and was approved in 2013 for use in multiple sclerosis.