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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Jun;133(6):1509-18; quiz 1519-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.03.011.

Potential food allergens in medications.

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Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Scripps Clinic, San Diego, Calif. Electronic address:


Excipients are substances in pharmaceuticals other than the active ingredients. Some excipients are foods or substances derived from foods, raising the possibility that these substances would pose a hazard to patients with food allergy. This review describes which food-derived substances are used as pharmaceutical excipients in which medications and reviews published data regarding the safety of the administration of these medications to recipients with food allergy. Such reactions are rare, usually because the amount of food protein is not present in a large enough quantity to elicit a reaction. When a food protein appears as an unintentional contaminant, the amount, if any, that is present might be variable and might elicit reactions only from some lots of medication or only in some patients. In most circumstances these medications should not be routinely withheld from patients who have particular food allergies because most will tolerate the medications uneventfully. However, if a particular patient has had an apparent allergic reaction to the medication, potential allergy to the food component should be investigated.


Food allergy; medication allergy; vaccine allergy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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