Chemical Component Summary

Formula C2 H6 O
Molecular Weight 46.07 g/mol
Type non-polymer
InChI InChI=1S/C2H6O/c1-2-3/h3H,2H2,1H3

Chemical Details

Formal Charge 0
Atom Count 9
Chiral Atom Count 0
Chiral Atoms
Bond Count 8
Aromatic Bond Count 0

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank ID DB00898   (Stereoisomeric match)
Name Ethanol
Groups approved
Description A 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 Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer With Moisturizers (vitamin E and Aloe) Lemon Scented
  • 2-pack Hand Sanitizer
  • 25 Person Ansi
Affected Organism Humans and other mammals
Indication For 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.
Pharmacology Alcohol 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 action Ethanol 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
  • 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 number 64-17-5

Drug Targets

Name Sequence Search Pharmacological Action Actions
Voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel subunit beta-1 MVQKTSMSRGPYPPSQEIPMEVFDPSPQGKYSKRKGRFKRSDGSTSSDTT... unknown
Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit alpha-2 MKTKLNIYNMQFLLFVFLVWDPARLVLANIQEDEAKNNITIFTRILDRLL... unknown
Neuronal acetylcholine receptor subunit alpha-10 MGLRSHHLSLGLLLLFLLPAECLGAEGRLALKLFRDLFANYTSALRPVAD... unknown
Voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel subunit alpha-1C MVNENTRMYIPEENHQGSNYGSPRPAHANMNANAAAGLAPEHIPTPGAAL... unknown
View More Drug Targets
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