A polymer formed from ethylene oxide. The length of the polymer determines is viscosity. The length of the polymer is denoted by its total molecular weight, e.g. PEG 3350 indicates chains of about 3350 daltons.
Longer chains used as laxatives or in bowel preparation, e.g. Movicol™.
A short-length PEG group can be chemically (covalently) added to compounds to reduce protein breakdown of pharmacologically active proteins, a process known as PEGylation. Examples include:
- PEGlytated filgastrim = (Neulasta™)
- PEGlyated interferon = peginterferon
- α-2a (Pegasys™, Roche)
- α-2b (Peg-Intron™, Schering-Plough)