Also inactive ingredients in the medication can cause side effects

Side effects due to inactive ingredients in drugs?

Medicines, which we take, include many so-called inactive ingredients, which should not cause reactions in the body. Experts found out now that these inactive ingredients can cause some patients allergic reactions or other symptoms of a food intolerance.

The scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School found in their recent study, inactive ingredients in our medicines is sometimes so inactive and lead to, for example, allergic reactions. The doctors published the results of their study in the English journal “Science Translational Medicine”.

In some cases, can also cause actually, inactive ingredients in medications, allergies, and other unpleasant side effects. (Image: Kitty/

What are inactive ingredients?

Our medicines contain many active and inactive ingredients. Active ingredients are those which do not offer a therapeutic Benefit, while inactive ingredients to respond yourself in the body and, instead, the characteristics of the drug improve, such as taste, appearance, and ability to be absorbed by the body.

71 percent of the weight of pills are made out of inactive content

Scientists began to deal with inactive ingredients, after they had treated a patient with celiac disease, which responded to the inactive ingredients in a drug. The experts responded by searched the medical literature for Reports about patients, inactive ingredients. They found some studies with patients showed allergic reactions to inactive ingredients such as lactose. Lactose is present in many pills. The doctors, however, found no studies in which it was examined whether certain inactive ingredients cause less extreme but probably more frequently occurring symptoms of food intolerances (such as bloating or abdominal pain). So they examined the data on the inactive ingredients. They found that agents, on average, represent slightly more than a quarter (29 per cent) of the weight of an oral pill. The remaining 71 percent of the weight comes from the inactive ingredients. An average of a pill contains more than eight different inactive ingredients, in the extreme case, you can, however, contain up to 35 inactive ingredients, the experts explain.

Pharmaceutical companies use about 1,000 inactive ingredients

Pharmaceutical companies have about 1,000 inactive ingredients to choose from, if you are restoring pills. Of these components 38, such as, for example, peanut oil, lactose and some of the dyes, allergens known. Although most of the inactive ingredients are usually tested in order to verify a possible toxicity, and it was found that they lead for most of the population, no strong impact, can not capture the Tests certain small side effects, the experts explain.

93 percent of the tested pills contained at least one Allergen

The study found that 93 percent of the pills contained at least one of the 38 of all genes and almost all of the pills substances, which could be for people with certain food intolerances is problematic, as for example Gluten or sugar.

Some critics doubt the results

Nevertheless, all experts are not convinced that the inactive ingredients are particularly problematic. In most cases, the amount of the medication existing food protein would not be sufficient to trigger an allergic reaction, say critics of the current investigation. For example, the amount of protein, which is in flu vaccines available is not sufficient to trigger allergic reactions, even in people with severe allergies to eggs.

Gelatin can lead to problems

But there is an inactive ingredient that can cause allergic clearly problems: gelatin. Some of the medicines and vaccines that can be administered intravenously or injected, can contain larger amounts of gelatin and cause allergies. Therefore, these medicines should not be used by people with gelatin allergies. (as)