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Ever wonder how to find out exactly what inactive ingredients are in medication? Most people do not know or care to know what inactive ingredients are in the drug they are about to take, but some people with medical conditions must know.

According to a Consumer Reports’ article published on March 23, 2012, “How can I find out which ingredients are in a medication,” inactive ingredients in drugs are all approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The name for these inactive ingredients is “generally recognized as safe,” otherwise known as “GRAS.” Although these ingredients are generally safe, some people with medical problems can suffer problems as a result of ingesting the specific inactive ingredient. For example, some individuals cannot take a drug which has gluten.

Manufacturers are required by law to disclose all ingredients on and/or in all medications sold. The U.S. Pharmacopeia sets the standards for medicine labeling of inactive ingredients and these standards are enforceable by the FDA. A senior scientific liaison to USP’s Nomenclature, Safety and Labeling Expert Committee, Andrzej Wilk, PhD said, “Every drug manufacturer is obliged to list every excipient, every little part including coloring and flavors for each drug.” Every inactive ingredient for over-the-counter drugs is required to be on the outside of the box. The inactive ingredients on other drugs can be found inside the drug package insert or on the package of the drug. Usually, you can skip to the package insert that says “Description.” Here you will find the list of inactive ingredients.

With most drugs, there are generics. Sometimes, the generic version of the drug can contain different inactive ingredients than the brand name drug has. Make sure to ask your pharmacist or read the label. Finding the exact inactive ingredients on drugs can be more difficult than finding inactive ingredients on food products. However, if you look at the package or outside of the box, you can find the inactive ingredients. Focus on looking for the ingredients or description section.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a drug you took, you may want to contact our attorneys at Childers, Schlueter & Smith.

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