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A new study revealed that most medicines may have inactive ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals.
Inactive ingredients are chemicals added to a drug that do not affect the medicine’s therapeutic property, like food coloring. Other common inactive ingredients are gluten and lactose, which cannot be digested by people with certain conditions or diseases.
The researchers of the study examined more than 42,000 medicines and analyzed the medical records of patients vulnerable to common inactive ingredients. Their findings show that about 75% of each pill or capsule is comprised of inactive ingredients. In addition, it was discovered that some patients had dangerous reactions to some prescribed drugs due to some of these ingredients.
In spite of the study’s findings, co-author Dr. Giovanni Traverso claimed that the amount of inactive ingredients per pill or capsule is low enough to avoid triggering allergic reactions in most individuals. Pharmaceutical chemist Sravan Kumar Patel [SHRUH-vuhn kuh–MAHR puh–TEHL] backed this statement, saying that serious reactions would likely happen only in patients taking multiple pills with the same inactive ingredients.
Traverso also elaborated that while inactive ingredients may pose risks to some individuals, these components also have benefits. For instance, some inactive ingredients aid in stabilizing medicines. Other inactive components make the therapeutic elements of medicines easier for the body to absorb.
Despite these benefits, Traverso still believes that regulation on labeling medicines with potential harmful effects should be improved. Moreover, he advised people who are apprehensive about inactive ingredients to carefully read information about their medicine.