Allergies to medications and supplements are not uncommon. As a pharmacist, I recognize the problems caused by an allergic reaction, or even sensitivity to a medication or supplement. What I have found interesting is the person who says, “I’ve been taking drug X for years, but I got a different looking pill last time, and I just don’t feel well.” Is it possible after all this time the person has developed an allergy or sensitivity to the medication? Perhaps. Or maybe it is something more.

Most medications and some supplements contain, inactive ingredients. These are components that do not contribute to the overall effects of the drug or supplement, but are present to color, flavor, bind together, or transport the substance. While they may not contribute to the active effects of your pharmaceutical or supplement, they can contribute to allergic reactions or sensitivities. For example, people may believe they are allergic to a particular cough syrup, but instead, they are really sensitive or allergic to the dye used to color the cough syrup.

Allergies and sensitivities to inactive ingredients become extremely important to those who have anaphylaxis to certain compounds or disease that can be exacerbated by certain ingredients. Take for example someone with celiac disease. If a medication or supplement uses a form of wheat, barley, or rye as a binder, this can contribute to significant health concerns. While reading a label is helpful, vague wording like “starch” leads individuals to wonder if the medication or supplement may adversely affect them. Other problematic inactive ingredients include corn, sulfites, and alcohols. While those with true allergies need to be most cautious, people with sensitivities may also desire to review their medications and supplements more cautiously to prevent any unwelcome side effects.

At 360 Living we have a pharmacist who can help you with these health concerns. You can meet with our functionally trained pharmacist who will review your medications and supplements with you. She will look at how they interact with each other, but also explore if any of the inactive ingredients might be causing some of your health issues. Adding this service to your 360 Living program creates another positive support on your journey toward a thriving life!

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