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allergy to medications

Allergies and Medications

Allergies and Medications.

Allergies and medications are an important issues.  According to a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, forty-six per-cent of the U.S. population used one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days.  Among those are patients with chronic conditions that require daily doses of medication, or multiple medications.

All medications contain active and inactive ingredients.  Inactive ingredients, called excipients, may cause an allergy to the medication in patients making the medications less effective, or even harmful.

Allergen labeling is not mandated on medication!

Food and medicine are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, however, the labeling requirements for food and for medications are not the same.  Certain ingredients labeled on food products, do not have to be labeled on medications.

The difference in labeling requirements is extremely important for an allergic or hypersensitive patient.  In 2004, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) became law and required that the 8 major food allergens be labeled on all food packaging.

Those allergens are:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • fish
  • crustacean shellfish
  • tree nuts
  • wheat
  • peanuts
  • soybeans

There is no similar law for prescription and over-the-counter medications.

What are excipients and how are they labeled?

Excipients are needed in medications for a variety of reasons, including:

  • binders
  • coatings
  • dosage consistency
  • manufacturing and production
  • absorption of the medication
  • coloring agents

Manufacturers provide a list of ingredients, although it is not always apparent from the names if they contain allergens.  For example,  the ingredient list would not label a wheat derivative as containing gluten.

Symptoms of allergic reactions.

Most users of prescription and over-the-counter medications have no ill effects from the inactive ingredients.  Patients who may see adverse reactions include those taking large doses, or many different medications.  Additionally, patients with allergies and/or hypersensitivities may also see adverse reactions.

These reactions might include:

  • decrease in the effectiveness of the medication
  • difficulty breathing
  • sneezing
  • itchy, watery eyes
  • digestive distress
  • condition worsens instead of improving

What can you do if you think you are allergic to a medication?

First, be proactive when taking a new medication, do not take a new medication without knowing all of the ingredients, particularly if you have a known allergy.  Second, enlist the aid of your pharmacist or other medical professional for help discovering the active and inactive ingredients in your prescription and over-the-counter medications.  Third, speak to your doctor about all medications, over-the-counter drugs and supplements that you take to ensure that there is no contraindications with what you are taking.

Dr. Cushing’s AllerCease™ technique can help.

If you are concerned about an allergic reaction or a possible reaction to a medication or to a medical device that you may have to have implanted, Dr. Cushing’s AllerCease™ allergy elimination technique may be an answer for you.

The AllerCease technique successfully tests for and eliminate allergies from many sources including:

  • medications
  • supplements
  • titanium implants
  • dental implants
  • parts used for a pacemaker and joint replacements
  • general anesthesia
  • foods
  • environmental substances
  • chemicals
  • barometric pressure

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Read Dr. Cushing’s biography

Author Info

Arthur Cushing