In most medications, the so-called inactive ingredients in the pills may be more active than previously thought, being responsible for allergies and other health consequences.

More than 90% of all tablets contain additives that can trigger allergies. This shows a study that has evaluated more than 42,000 medications, potentially allergens.

Additives in medications cause allergies.

The researchers were on the trail of so-called inactive substances. These are chemical compounds that do not have a medicinal effect. But they are necessary, for example, to cover the actual active ingredient or to make the tablet taste better.

92.8% of the tested tablets contained at least one substance that can cause allergies.  These include lactose, cornstarch, gelatin, soy or sesame oil, vanilla, sucrose sugar, the sweetener aspartame, and various colorings.

The researchers searched a database that contained approximately 42,000 prescriptions for oral medications marketed in the United States. Of those, 92.8 percent contained at least one of the 38 inactive ingredients that have caused allergic reactions in patients.

And 55 percent of the pills contained at least one of a class of sugars called FODMAPs, which can cause digestive problems in people with irritable bowel syndrome.

The research team examined each tablet formulation for 38 allergens. And he only tested drugs that are on the market in the United States.

The study mentions the following verbatim words:

Oral forms of the drugs contain “inactive” ingredients to enhance their physical properties.  Through data analysis, we characterize the abundance and complexity of inactive ingredients in approved drugs. Most drugs contain additives that could cause adverse reactions, underscoring the need to maximize the tolerability and safety of drugs and their inactive ingredients.

Although certain allergy triggers should be mentioned on a medication package, peanut oil is one example. “Many allergens and other substances that cause intolerance must remain under the radar.”

He is one of the researchers who participated in the study. It requires pharmaceutical companies to specify the contents of their drugs more precisely than before. Only then could doctors estimate the risk of allergies it can trigger in patients.

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