When I ran an allergy clinic, I often had reason to look at so-called inactive ingredients in tablets, capsules, creams and lotions.
And while these ingredients are referred to as inactive, many are not.
You can cause allergies. In addition, they can account for 90% of the content in each drug.
These "inactive" ingredients are called excipients and are used to unpack the active ingredient. If you think about it, the active ingredient may only be 50 mg, but it is one 500 mg tablet.
The difference between the active substance and the specified weight is the weight of the excipients (450 mg).
This amount is allergic to any of these ingredients and can cause serious problems.
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New research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that many of these reactions may occur Not part of the drug.
All ingredients in a medicine, whether active or inactive, must be listed either on the label, the package or the package leaflet.
Ineffective ingredients, which may not be as readily recognizable as the active ingredients, are generally considered safe by the medical authorities. Majority of people, but could pose a serious risk to a small segment of the population.
For example, gluten is used as an excipient. But one in every 100 people in the UK suffers from celiac disease and can not eat gluten.
A study of the 200 most widely prescribed drugs from 2013 found that the majority contains some gluten – however, this may have triggered a reaction in a person with celiac disease.
Senior Study Author Dr. Giovanni Traverso said, "I think there is a tremendous disregard for the possible effects that inactive ingredients can have."
He and his team set out to try to quantify this impact, they considered earlier studies, in which bad drug reactions were mentioned.
93% of the drugs contained ingredients that could cause allergic reactions, including dyes, peanut oil, gluten, lactose or sugar.
And these supposedly "inactive" ingredients made more than half (55%) of most drugs and even 99% of most drug-based ingredients clearer and even push for alternative formulations of drugs.
"I think all of these must really come together," Dr. Traverso.
"Education, awareness and legislation are all important." Read more