611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

Health Choice Integrated Care crisis Line
1-877-756-4090

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530



SEABHS
611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line
1-866-495-6735

NAZCARE Warm Line
1-888-404-5530


powered by centersite dot net

Getting Started
Here are some forms to get started. These can be printed and brought with you so that you can pre-fill out some known info ahead of time. More...


Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Could the U.S. Mail Deliver Better Colon Cancer Screening Rates?Opioid Rxs Decreasing, But Not for All DoctorsAfter Chinese Infant Gene-Editing Scandal, U.S. Health Officials Join Call for a BanAre 'Inactive' Ingredients in Your Drugs Really So Harmless?Need to Be Vaccinated? Try Your Local PharmacyBystanders Key to Cutting Cardiac Arrest DeathsMany Black Americans Live in Trauma Care 'Deserts'FDA Issues Asbestos Warning About Some Claire's Cosmetic ProductsFDA to Crack Down on Retailers That Keep Selling Tobacco to KidsBlood Donation by Teen Girls May Raise Anemia RiskNurses' Long Hours, Moonlighting Could Pose Patient Safety RiskBerkeley's Efforts Suggest Soda Taxes Do Cut Soda SalesOpioid Overdose Deaths Quadruple, Centered in 8 StatesPayments for Research Can Lead to Lies: StudyFDA Aims to Strengthen Sunscreen RulesAre Primary Care Doctors Prepared to Discuss Cancer Treatment?FDA Fell Short in Preventing Fentanyl Abuse Crisis, Report ClaimsPrimary Care Doctors Help Boost Life Spans, But More Are NeededMore Car Crashes Tied to Drivers High on OpioidsPoor Whites Bear the Brunt of U.S. Opioid Crisis, Studies FindFDA to Tighten Oversight of SupplementsAs U.S. Measles Outbreaks Spread, Why Does 'Anti-Vax' Movement Persist?Even Brief EMS Delay Can Cost Lives After Car CrashHealth Tip: Know Your Family's Medical HistoryPatients With Primary Care Docs May Get Better Health CareMany Paramedics Ignore Hand Hygiene Rules, Study FindsIs Brexit a Health Hazard?Blood Donors Needed as Cold Weather Freezes U.S. SupplyMedical Scribes Could Help Improve ER CareAHA: Medical Experts 'Sound the Alarm' on Medical MisinformationWhite House Plan to Disclose Drug Prices May Not Drive Down Costs: StudyCan Artificial Intelligence Read X-Rays?Virtual Doctor Visits Get High Marks in New SurveyBig Pharma's Marketing to Docs Helped Trigger Opioid Crisis: StudyDisrupted Sleep Plagues Hospital Patients, But New Program Might HelpOpioid Prescriptions Almost Twice as Likely for Rural vs. Urban AmericansClimate Change Already Hurting Human Health, Review ShowsCalling All Blood Donors …Even Older Drugs Are Getting Steep Price Hikes, Study FindsAs Medical Marketing Soars, Is Regulation Needed?Radiation Doses From CT Scans Vary WidelyU.S. Leads Health Care Spending Among Richer Nations, But Gets LessIs Your State a Hotspot for Obesity-Linked Cancers?Health Tip: Choose the Right DoctorFDA Warns Companies on Dangerous, Unapproved Stem Cell TreatmentsMore U.S. Kids Dying From Guns, Car AccidentsRoad Rules on Smartphone Use Are Saving Bikers' Lives, TooAHA: Should Pacemakers, Defibrillators Be Recycled -- and Reused in Others?California Farm Tied to E. coli Outbreak Expands Recall Beyond Romaine LettuceHealth Tip: Use Medical Devices Safely
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

Are 'Inactive' Ingredients in Your Drugs Really So Harmless?

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 13th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- More than 90 percent of the medications that Americans take contain an inactive ingredient that could cause an allergic reaction, a new study suggests.

Lactose, peanut oil, gluten and chemical dyes are added to drugs to improve taste, prolong shelf life, improve absorption or make the drug tamper-proof, researchers explained. But they can also spell trouble for patients who are allergic to those ingredients.

"About 75 percent of most pills are taken up by inactive ingredients, only 25 percent is taken up by the drug," said lead author Dr. C. Giovanni Traverso, a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

On average, each pill or capsule has more than eight different inactive ingredients and sometimes as many as 38, he added. Reports of patients who have had severe allergic reactions to an inactive ingredient are not uncommon.

Traverso said that when doctors prescribe a drug, they are prescribing the active ingredient only. Inactive ingredients aren't expected to have an effect.

Doctors and patients need to be aware of the inactive ingredients in drugs, Traverso said. The full list of ingredients is often found in the brochure that goes along with the drug and can also be found in databases of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, he said.

Doctors should always ask patients about allergies not only to medications, but to the inactive ingredients they contain, Traverso added.

Moreover, doctors need to be aware of the inactive ingredients in the medications they prescribe. "There is more to a pill than just the drug," Traverso said.

For the study, Traverso and his colleagues looked at the inactive ingredients in more than 42,000 medications. These pills and capsules contained nearly 360,000 inactive ingredients.

Analysts found 38 inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions after they've been ingested. Moreover, nearly 93 percent of the drugs the researchers studied had at least one of these ingredients.

Traverso's team found that about 45 percent of drugs contained lactose; 33 percent contained food dye; and slightly less that 1 percent contained peanut oil.

Often, formulations of drugs that don't contain these ingredients are available. But some medications, including progesterone, which contains peanut oil, have few alternatives.

Inactive ingredients can cause allergic reactions like hives, difficulty breathing or gastrointestinal symptoms, Traverso said.

It is not clear how much of an ingredient triggers a reaction. The amount of the ingredient -- like lactose, for example -- may be too low to cause a reaction in patients, except those who are severely lactose-intolerant or people taking a number of drugs that contain lactose, the researchers said.

The findings were published online March 13 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

"We better be more careful, especially in a time of growing allergies," said Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Siegel, who wasn't involved with the study, noted that as lactose intolerance becomes more common, and since so many drugs contain lactose, it could turn into an even bigger problem.

Also, people who say they are allergic to a drug may really be allergic to one of the ingredients, he added.

"What you thought was an allergy to your blood pressure pill was actually an allergy to lactose," Siegel said. "We may be saying people are allergic to things [to which] they are actually not."

More information

Visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology for more on allergies.