Index Home About Blog
From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Vitamins/bronchitis
Date: 13 May 1999 10:31:36 GMT

In article <>,
  Jim <> wrote:
> >
> Before you resort to a garbage can diagnosis*1 (the last resort when
> ideas are bankrupt) try these:
> 1) inactive ingredients.    (Guess what:   these extra ingredients
> (tableting aids, fillers,  etc. etc.) don't "know" that they are not
> supposed to be "active"   and neither do our bodies!.     MANY people
> react to so called "inactive" ingredients.

   How many is "many"?

> Inactive ingredient:    an ingredient which is there for the needs of
> the  manufacturer and which has nothing to do with the consumers >

   Unless not having the drug cost more than he can pay counts as a
"need."  Fillers and flowing agents are there so the capsules can be
made by machines, instead by hand in Mexico or something.

> The possibility of any significant effects from these ingredients is
> studiously ignored on the theory that what the consumer does not know
> will not hurt the manufacturer.

    Don't be silly.  The fillers have all been tested on huge numbers
of people.  They're ordinary things like cornstarch, lactose, magnesium
stearate, talc, silica.  Cornstach and talcum are what you put on a
baby's bottom.  Lactose is in milk.  Silica is what you get in your
mouth on a beach, or breathing dust on a dusty road.  Magnesium
stearate is just a salt of a fatty acid residue, something that forms
in your gut every time you eat a steak.

> The MEDICAL attitude toward such ingredients is appalling and
> inexcusable:   Even a HOSPITAL pharmacist will tell you (without shame!)
> that there is no way of knowing WHAT the "inactive" ingredients in a
> pharmaceutical are!

   No, a hospital pharmacist will not tell you that, because it simply
is not true.  Inactive ingredients, ALL of them, are listed in the PDR
for the pharmaceutical prep, by the manufacturer.

>     Many patients react to some of these ingredients
> and yet doctors and hospitals just go right on blindly ignoring
> this.      (There IS a 900 number you can can that can SOMETIMES tell you
> what the inactive ingredients are (but often CANT but they'll still
> charge $2 /minute to tell you that!    $30 for nothing (and that's only
> one drug).

      Or you could buy a PDR, and that's most prescription drugs.

> [The way that consumers learn to deal with this is to go to a
> COMPOUNDING pharmacist (VERY VERY hard to find!) who makes up
> prescriptions from "scratch" (pure active ingredients and then KNOW
> inactive ingredients which he adds]]]

   No.  The way consumers learn to deal with this is to use a PDR.

> Yet another of many many examples where medicine does a VERY poor job
>of looking after the welfare of the patients.

   Yet another case of somebody not knowing what they are talking

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Vitamins/bronchitis
Date: 13 May 1999 21:46:39 GMT

In <> Jim <>

>For a physician (IF you are such) your ignorance and attitude are
>truly astounding!     Many patients react to things like cornstarch
>and lactose.

   There you go again.  People do not react to the amounts of lactose
found as fillers.  The rule is that even people with complete lactase
deficiency (adult Asians, etc) can drink up to a cup of milk at a time
without problems.  That's several grams of lactose-- hundreds of times
what you get in a filler.  Lactose is not an allergy.

   As for cornstarch, it's just starch.  Unless you're allergic to
corn, you'll be fine.  There isn't enough glutin in a few tens of
milligrams of corstarch to bother even a person with gluten sensitive
enteropathy.  In any case, you can always check the label if you have
gluten sensitive enteropathy.

>   Are you suggesting that such patients problems should just be
>written off by the medical profession as just not worth considering?

    Considering such people is why the compositiion of fillers is put
in the package insert.  If you think you have some intolerance
undiscovered by science, you're quite free to avoid it.  But nobody can
make tablets or capsules of most drugs without fillers--- you have tuse
SOMETHING.  And whatever you use, you can bet there will be some group
of people claiming that 3 molecules is killing them, and screaming

>(Which is what usually happens, whether by default or by intent.
>The experience of CD patients in hospitals has been that it is a RARE
>"gluten free" meal that does not have something containing gluten in
>it and that many "gluten free" meals contain gluten in EVERY COURSE.
>(But, of course, that's good for business - keeps them in the hospital
>longer, right?)

   Right.  The longer people are in the hospital, the more the hospital
makes per diagnosis.  Well, actually, that's not true, either.  Guess
the HMOs in particular kind of shot ourselves in the foot, there.  And
also with medicare patients.  Force of habit, do you think?

>>  Inactive ingredients, ALL of them, are listed in the PDR
>> for the pharmaceutical prep, by the manufacturer.
>WRONG, Steve.  Once again you are just guessing.   Apparently you are
>ASSUMING that because SOME ingredients are listed, ALL must be.  It is
>NOT so. I have been told by many pharmacists (including a hospital
>pharmacist) that they have no way of knowing what ALL the inactive
>ingredients are.

   This is worth checking out from a regulatory standpoint.  Will get
back to you.

Index Home About Blog