Chemical Component Summary

FormulaC2 H6 O
Molecular Weight46.07

Chemical Details

Formal Charge0
Atom Count9
Chiral Atom Count0
Chiral Atomsn/a
Bond Count8
Aromatic Bond Count0
Leaving Atomsn/a

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB00898 Different stereochemistry
DescriptionA clear, colorless liquid rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and distributed throughout the body. It has bactericidal activity and is used often as a topical disinfectant. It is widely used as a solvent and preservative in pharmaceutical preparations as well as serving as the primary ingredient in alcoholic beverages.
  • 1-Hydroxyethane
  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol (ethyl)
  • Alcohol anhydrous
  • Alcohol denatured
Brand Names
  • 10 Person Ansi
  • 2 Pack Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer With Moisturizers (vitamin E and Aloe)
  • 2 Pack A
Affected OrganismHumans and other mammals
IndicationFor therapeutic neurolysis of nerves or ganglia for the relief of intractable chronic pain in such conditions as inoperable cancer and trigeminal neuralgia (tic douloureux), in patients for whom neurosurgical procedures are contraindicated.
PharmacologyAlcohol produces injury to cells by dehydration and precipitation of the cytoplasm or protoplasm. This accounts for its bacteriocidal and antifungal action. When alcohol is injected in close proximity to nerve tissues, it produces neuritis and nerve degeneration (neurolysis). Ninety to 98% of ethanol that enters the body is completely oxidized. Ethanol is also used as a cosolvent to dissolve many insoluble drugs and to serve as a mild sedative in some medicinal formulations. Ethanol also binds to GABA, glycine, NMDA receptors and modulates their effects. Ethanol is also metabolised by the hepatic enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase.
Mechanism of actionEthanol affects the brain’s neurons in several ways. It alters their membranes as well as their ion channels, enzymes, and receptors. Alcohol also binds directly to the receptors for acetylcholine, serotonin, GABA, and the NMDA receptors for glutamate. The sedative effects of ethanol are mediated through binding to GABA receptors and glycine receptors (alpha 1 and alpha 2 subunits). It also inhibits NMDA receptor functioning. In its role as an anti-infective, ethanol acts as an osmolyte or dehydrating agent that disrupts the osmotic balance across cell membranes.
Route of administration
  • Cutaneous
  • Dental
  • Intramuscular; Subcutaneous
  • Intraspinal
  • Intravenous
  • Alcohols
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Central Nervous System Agents
  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • V03AB16
  • D08AX08
  • V03AZ01
  • 84:04.92
  • 92:00.00
  • 92:02.00*
CAS number64-17-5

Drug Targets

NameSequence SearchPharmacological ActionActions
Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit deltaMDAPARLLAPLLLLCAQQLRGTRAMNDIGDYVGSNLEISWLPNLDGLIAG...unknown
Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit deltaMDAPARLLAPLLLLCAQQLRGTRAMNDIGDYVGSNLEISWLPNLDGLIAG...unknown
Voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel subunit alpha-1CMVNENTRMYIPEENHQGSNYGSPRPAHANMNANAAAGLAPEHIPTPGAAL...unknown
Voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel subunit alpha-1CMVNENTRMYIPEENHQGSNYGSPRPAHANMNANAAAGLAPEHIPTPGAAL...unknown
View More
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682