Liquid paraffin (medicinal)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the chemical use of the term, see Paraffin.
Liquid paraffin
Clinical data
  • US: C (Risk not ruled out)
Legal status
Routes of
Topical, oral
CAS Registry Number 8012-95-1
ATC code A06AA01
PubChem SID: 7979779
Chemical data
Formula C

Medicinal liquid paraffin, also known as paraffinum liquidum, is a very highly refined mineral oil used in cosmetics and for medical purposes. This is a UK definition (British Pharmacopoeia) and the term may have different uses in other countries. The cosmetic or medicinal liquid paraffin should not be confused with the paraffin (or kerosene) used as a fuel.

The term paraffinum perliquidum is sometimes used to denote light liquid paraffin. Conversely, the term paraffinum subliquidum is sometimes used to denote a thicker (more viscus/oily) mineral oil.

Usage and side effects[edit]

Liquid paraffin is considered to have a limited usefulness as an occasional laxative, but is unsuitable for regular use as it can seep from the anus and cause irritation; it can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins; it can be absorbed into the intestinal wall and may cause foreign-body granulamatous reactions; and if it enters the lungs it can cause lipoid pneumonia.[1]

Liquid paraffin is also used in combination with magnesium as an osmotic laxative, sold under the trade name Mil-Par (among others).[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alan Nathan. Non-prescription medicines. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006 [cited October 8, 2011]. ISBN 978-0-85369-644-5. p. 68.
  2. ^ "Magnesium & Liquid Paraffin". Patient UK. 

External links[edit]