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Volatile, colorless or white crystals with a musty, camphoraceous odor.

Nonproprietary Names

  • BP: Chlorobutanol
  • JP: Chlorobutanol
  • PhEur: Chlorobutanol, Anhydrous
  • USP-NF: Chlorobutanol

Acetone chloroform; anhydrous chlorbutol; chlorbutanol; chlorobutanolum anhydricum; chlorbutol; chloretone; Coliquifilm; Methaform; Sedaform; trichloro-tert-butanol; b,b,b-trichloro-tertbutyl alcohol; trichloro-t-butyl alcohol.

Chemical Name and CAS Registry Number

  • 1, 1, 1-Trichloro-2-methyl-2-propanol [57-15-8]
  • 1, 1, 1-Trichloro-2-methyl-2-propanol hemihydrate [6001-64-5]

Empirical Formula and Molecular Weight

  • C4H7Cl3O 177.46 (for anhydrous)
  • C4H7Cl3O.1/2H2O 186.46 (for hemihydrate)

Functional Category: Antimicrobial preservative; plasticizer.

Applications in Pharmaceutical Formulation or Technology

Chlorobutanol is primarily used in ophthalmic or parenteral dosage forms as an antimicrobial preservative at concentrations up to 0.5% w/v. It is commonly used as an antibacterial agent for epinephrine solutions, posterior pituitary extract solutions, and ophthalmic preparations intended for the treatment of miosis. It is especially useful as an antibacterial agent in nonaqueous formulations.


Chlorobutanol is also used as a preservative in cosmetics; as a plasticizer for cellulose esters and ethers; and has been used therapeutically as a mild sedative and local analgesic in dentistry.

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