Many medicines contain additives that cause allergies

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Many medicines contain additives that cause allergies

In most medicines, the so-called inactive ingredients in 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 drugs, potentially allergenic.

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 needed, for example, to cover the actual active ingredient or to make the tablet taste better.

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

The researchers searched a database containing approximately 42,000 prescriptions for oral medications marketed in the United States. Of them, 92.8 percent contained at least one of the 38 inactive ingredients that have caused allergic reactions in patients, the researchers reported March 13, in Science Translational Medicine.

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 tested each tablet formulation for 38 allergenic substances. And he only tested drugs that are on the market in the United States.

The study mentions the textual words that are quoted below:

The 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 medicines. Most medications contain additives that could cause adverse reactions, underscoring the need to maximize the tolerability and safety of medications and their inactive ingredients.

Although certain allergy triggers should be listed on a medication package, peanut oil is one example. «Many allergens and other substances that cause intolerance should remain under the radarsays gastrointestinal specialist Giovanni Traverso from Boston, USA.

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


  1. Hidden compounds in many medications can trigger allergies. Society for Science & the Public, Washington DC, USA, 03.13.2019. [Link]
  2. Original Studio: By Daniel Reker, Steven M. Blum, Christoph Steiger, Kevin E. Anger, Jamie M. Sommer, John Fanikos, Giovanni Traverso. Science Translational Medicine13 Mar 2019. [Link]

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