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Can Med Assoc J. 1982 Apr 15;126(8):910-4.

Tartrazine: a potentially hazardous dye in Canadian drugs.


The literature was reviewed to determine the incidence of idiosyncratic reactions to tartrazine. From 4% to 14% of individuals with asthma or allergies or both and from 7% to 20% of persons who are sensitive to acetylsalicylic acid may react to this dye. The mechanism of such reactions is unknown. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors were surveyed and a list was prepared of approximately 450 Canadian pharmaceuticals that contain tartrazine. The 53 pharmaceutical and manufacturers and distributors whose drug products do not contain this dye were also listed. It is recommended that information concerning the tartrazine content of drugs be included on package labels.

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