NPR

Overlooked Ingredients In Medicines Can Sometimes Trigger Side Effects

Drugmakers add inactive ingredients to stabilize medications and sometimes to help the body absorb the active ingredients. But the inactive constituents can cause side effects in rare cases.
There can be as many as 35 different inactive ingredients inside a medicine. Source: Monty Rakusen

If you have a bad reaction to a medicine, it might not be the drug itself, but what are called "inactive ingredients" in the pill or capsule.

An article published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine surveys this field and finds ingredients that are potentially troublesome for some people are ubiquitous.

For example, a few years ago study co-author , a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, came across a patient with a severe. The person was having trouble with a medication that apparently contained gluten as an inactive ingredient — potentially making the condition worse, not better.

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