By Sy Mukherjee
March 13, 2019

Hello and happy hump day, readers.

As it turns out, the parts of your medication specifically meant not to do anything may end up causing some harm.

That’s the conclusion from new research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. For background: Oral medications (that is, pills and tablets) contain something called an “active pharmaceutical ingredient” and other ingredients which are essentially filler (and ostensibly safe). These “inactive” ingredients serve a purpose to; for instance, they can help with the digestion and absorption of the main active ingredient.

But the new study suggests that, sometimes, these very ingredients can cause harmful side effects in some patients; and the vast majority of oral drug contain ingredients that can do that kind of harm.

“A majority of medications contain ingredients that could cause adverse reactions, underscoring the need to maximize the tolerability and safety of medications and their inactive ingredients,” wrote the study authors.

Some of these common inactive ingredients may include things like lactose or gluten which, in enough quantity depending on the patient, may actually make people feel even sicker (for instance, if they have a lactose or gluten allergy). And while it’s a rare occurrence, this can become a significant problem for patients who rely on multiple medications.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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