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The animal products in your medicine cabinet

While television and print ads alike are loaded with messages about potential serious side effects, prescription drug disclaimers are issued to warn against possible unintended consequences resulting froma drug's active ingredient(s).

But what you may not know is that the bulk of your prescription pill ismade up of inactive ingredients, known as "excipients, and thatyour drugs couldn't be made without them. Quite simply, excipients are what encapsulates your capsule orforms your pill into a solid as opposed to a powder.

Here's the rub: One of the most common excipients used is gelatin, which is almost universally of animal origin. This presents a problem, as you might imagine, to those living within religious or dietary restrictions.

According to a new study released Monday in the BMJ Postgraduate Medical Journal, 43.2% of the study population "would prefer not to take animal product containing medication, even if no alternative were available." 500 people participated in the study.

Of the study participants with dietary restrictions, 88% said they would prefer to take oral medication containing only vegetable products. Of the patients who preferred vegetarian only treatment, 85.2% said they would not take any oral medication which contained animal products, though more than half said they would do so if no alternatives were available.

Perhaps most surprising, less than a quarter of those patients with dietary restrictions specifically asked the doctor who prescribed the drug or the pharmacist who dispensed it about its composition.

Previous studies have shown that doctors do not regularly discuss a medication inactive ingredients with their patients, and very few patients think to ask.

Of the participants who were surveyed, those who followed a Halal diet and those who designated uggs clearance themselves as pure vegetarian/vegan were far more like to ask about a drug's constituents than those who avoided only certain animal foods, such as chicken, beef, or pork.

The data from the study shows that the majority of the people who were surveyed found it completely acceptable that their medications contained gelatin, an animal by product. But if it important for you to know and to control exactly what food is entering your body, the takeaway here is simple: ask your doctor or your pharmacist. etc.

It is about time the consumers are given the choice of decision making in their pharmaceutical and medical device products.

We are beginning to seek niches like organic foods, sustainability and environmental stewardship initiatives. It is just a beginning.

February 28, 2012 at 12:14

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Faith and religious believes do not belong to the discussion about health , what if some religious group starts to believe that red color is offensive ugg boots outlet store online or unlucky, should be the red color to be avoided on pill boxes? If religious people have to go around some common practice like using animal products as a non medical part of a pill, let then take care of themselves and find ways to do it, whole society has other concerns that need research and resources.

February 28, 2012 at 12:51

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Your response is completely idiotic. much attention is paid to vegetarians Really? You don have to worrry about it though as vegetarians don access the health care as much as carnivores. Meat eaters, on average, have more health problems than vegetarians. They are fatter and have higher incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer than non meat eaters. This is a fact. Clearly, you don care about what goes into medications. You probably don care what in your food either. As well, I can assure you that the pharmaceutical companies have already thought that certain colors might be offensive in some countries. However, if you enjoy a good piece of meat. I hope you know a good doctor and live close to a good hospital. Enjoy!

February 28, 2012 at 14:01

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Just in order to clarify what I think about eating meat, I mostly follow the Weston Price foundation recommendations, eat pasture raised animal products,avoid sugars, 51 years old with no health problems , with healthy family members because they eat food I cook for them from the scratch. Most vegetarians I met are unhealthy and cranky, look even you without knowing me wished me to be in hospital soon or worse. You mistake meat eaters with ugg boots outlet sale the Standard American Diet eaters.

My main point was that the fact that there are animal products in medicine is not a health concern and the piece of information belongs to religious news or probably to marketing rather then to the health news.

February 29, 2012 at ugg boots on sale 08:06

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Galina, no offense, but you are showing your ignorance. You keep saying that this should have been in religious news as opposed to more mainstream health news. Not everyone that practices a meat free diet does it for religious purposes. I and my wife have been vegetarian for nearly 10 years now, and neither of us do it for religious beliefs. In my case, I have NEVER been a huge fan of meat and I only realized in my late 20s that I actually have a bad reaction to certain meats. In my wife case, she wanted to try out what she considered a healthier lifestyle, and she has been very happy with that choice. Both of us are in our mid 30s, in good to excellent health, and we are both generally very happy people. I also have several friends that practice meat free or low meat diets for non religious purposes. It is true that any diet, taken to the extremes, can be dangerous, but as long as a person is aware uggs sale of the issues involving their diet and they act accordingly, they should be just fine. By the way, if this article had been posted in religious news, I NEVER WOULD HAVE SEEN IT, which is why it is perfect right where it is.

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