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What Ingredients are Hiding in your Medication?

Pills and capsules contain inactive compounds like lactose, gluten, and food dyes that can trigger allergic reactions.

Mystery Pills / Image: Source
Mystery Pills / Image: Source

Have you ever had an adverse reaction to a medication and not known why? A recent NBC News article says there are inactive ingredients that could be the culprit. Most pills only contain a small amount of the active medication and are mixed with inactive ingredients in order to form a tablet. These mixers are often lactose or dextrose, which could trigger reactions in patients.

A new study published in Science Translational Medicine found that the vast majority of commonly prescribed drugs contain at least one inactive ingredient that could cause a negative reaction. For example, lactose intolerant people may develop diarrhea after taking pills with lactose in them, and a celiac patient may have side effects from drugs with gluten. To prevent these reactions, the FDA has a database where users can search for all ingredients, both active and inactive, in prescription drugs.

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