My Sunday Rant

We all take cocktails of drugs with their varying side effects but does anyone stop to look at the fillers, preservatives and colours that are added alongside the active ingredients? The majority of the colours would not be allowed in sweets and confectionary so why do we put up with them in pills? After all, we are popping pills like sweets all day for years!

Example: Omeprazole. Used to protect from reflux, ulcers, etc. Apart from the active substance (!) include SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE - also used in bubble bath, shampoo and conditioner and industrial cleaning products. Potential side effects include skin, eye and mucous membrane irritation, dry skin/eczema, mouth ulcers, liver & gastrointestinal toxicity. On the National Institute of Health (US) Hazard list!

MANNITOL E421- also used in hand cream and hair grooming products and low calorie foods. Side effects include, hypersensitivity reactions; nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hives, kidney disfunction and gastric irritation.

TALC - used widely as an anticaking agent also used in eye make-up, bath powder, baby powder and animal feed. Side effects include, cancer (stomach and ovarian), cough, vomiting, respiratory problems, tumours and stomach problems.

Not forgetting the lovely sounding QUINOLINE YELLOW which has been banned in some countries. This may cause asthma, hives, skin rash, hyperactivity (!), anaphylaxis and is carcinogenic. This also used in cosmetics, dye, lipstick, soap, cologne............ and so the list goes on.

It's all very well to be told that all these additives are safe but if added to sweets, soft drinks etc, we could choose to cut them out of our diet. We can't choose to cut out our medication! Who decides whether the side effects we have are due to the particular medication or something as simple as the colour of it?

8 Replies

  • Hello Nickety, thanks for raising this. I'm not sure where you're based but if you're in the UK, there's a medicines watchdog called MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency). They have a Yellow Card reporting system for people to report any side-effects and/or allergic reactions that they've had after taking medicine. The NHS Choices website has a good overview:

    This has got me thinking though (as someone who has experienced lots of side effects to different meds). It seems ridiculous that these ingredients you mention have already been banned elsewhere, considered hazards etc and yet they are still included in our medicines. Although I've done a Yellow Card for all 4 medications I've had reactions and side effects to, I might also email/call the MHRA to ask why certain ingredients haven't been omitted (ie that have been banned elsewhere). It does make me feel a bit uneasy that the MHRA seems to be funded by the pharmaceutical industry but I'd like to see if there's any way I can get them to explain about these ingredients being included and what it will take for them to remove them. I'll let you know how I get on!

  • Surprise, surprise - funded by the pharmaceutical companies! This reminds me of what I read about statins and the insistence that we all need to take them, but I won't go into that........ And, why all these pharmaceutical companies that insist we need sun protection, don't mention that skin cancer has increased since we started plastering ourselves with this toxic rubbish. Mothers have become scared of letting their children out in the sun and wonder why ricketts is coming back through lack of vitamin D (from sunlight on the skin). Sorry again for ranting. Interesting reply francherry, food for thought. I am in the UK. I hope I didn't spoil anyone's Sunday!

  • Not at all - in fact agree with all points!

    Love your doggie & his/her smile by the way!! :)

  • Hi, nomoreheels (I'd love to be able to wear heels - feel brave wearing Fitflops)! Doggie's name is Ralphie, rescued Labradoodle. x

  • He's gorgeous! How could anyone give up such a lovely looking dog? A Labradoodle or standard poodle is top of my wish list of doggies but with three to cope with now not in the near future!! They all shed hairs like you wouldn't believe, especially so with the weather change at the mo but wouldn't swap them for the world! Two of ours are rescues as well. :)

  • I always have to investigate the inactive ingredients of meds before I take them, as I can have a reaction to anything that is derived from maize/corn - the list of potential ingredients is huge, including maize starch, many of the dextrins and maltodextrins and some of the microcrystalline cellulose products. It makes it incredibly difficult to find a pill I can actually take. I tend to do better on liquid forms of meds (but they all contain artificial sweeteners and flavourings that I would normally avoid), or soluble forms (as they seldom have insoluble maize starch.

    I totally agree that some of the additional ingredients of pills can be more of a problem than the active ingredient.

  • I've got a lot of intolerance's so am never sure what I am reacting to! But I agree with you we take so many meds why should we be subject to all the extra rubbish they put in to them!?

  • This is a personal anathema of mine, colour additives particularly. My interest in why they were used by drug companies was started when I bought Migraleve for the first time in Spain & was surprised when they were a pale pink rather than the vivid pink in the UK. It would seem it's necessary in drugs, or to be more specific in drugs which are produced in different doses to differentiate strengths & in this instance the Spanish manufacturer has to follow the guidelines of the country of course which are more strict than than the UK. Similarly with most of the other additives you mention.

    It would seem we've little choice but does make it terribly difficult for people with allergies.

    I forgot to add I've become an avid reader of ingredients of anything in foodstuffs too from a naughty but sometimes necessary supermarket fast meal to basics like bacon or pre packed meat & fish since returning to the UK, primarily because of added sugars as my h is diabetic & avoid any with what I consider unnecessary preservatives also. Why is it necessary to add preservatives to most brands of pickled onions when the vinegar they sit in does that very job itself? We've given in & now do our own & though shouldn't blow our own trumpet they are brill. And don't get me started on jam!!! We found if we didn't have the opportunity to buy fresh before returning to the UK both Aldi & Lidl are excellent on the whole for not using preservatives & colour to excess in own brand products - but then why should I be surprised as neither are UK companies!! Many items we used to buy are available in both stores here so happy days!

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