The animal products in your medicine cabinet
February 27th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

The animal products in your medicine cabinet

Most of us put a good deal of thought into the food we put in our bodies. But do we ever consider the food in our medicine?

That's right, the food in our medicine.

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 from a drug’s active ingredient(s).

But what you may not know is that the bulk of your prescription pill is made up of inactive ingredients, known as “excipients," and that your drugs couldn’t be made without them. Quite simply, excipients are what encapsulates your capsule or forms 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's 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 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's 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.

soundoff (267 Responses)
  1. tadalafil 40 mg daily

    tadalafil tablets https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 60 mg for sale

    March 20, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. fast acting erectile pills

    erectile on demand reviews https://erectiledysfunctionpillscvs.com/ erectile injections

    March 20, 2021 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. casino moons guess the game

    high 5 casino real slots https://casinoxsgames.com/ casino games pincho wheel

    March 21, 2021 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. vegas world casino free online slots

    1 million chips double down casino codes https://casinoxsplay.com/ balli casino slots

    March 21, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. what kind of casino table games are available on royal caribbean ships?

    gsn casino free slots play https://casinoxsbonus.com/ wife see through top in casino

    March 21, 2021 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. free slots bally casino

    grand casino free slots https://casinoxsbest.com/ free casino games with bonus rounds

    March 21, 2021 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. msn games casino

    blue chip casino buffet https://casinoxsonline.com/ lincoln casino free spin code

    March 21, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. KbdnMile

    https://papersonlinebox.com/ – website that writes papers for you paper helper pay someone to write your paper help writing papers

    March 23, 2021 at 07:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. photo of gambling casino on choctaw indian reservation mississippi

    free casino money no deposit required usa https://casinoxsbonus.com/ harrah's new orleans casino

    March 23, 2021 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesis template proquest thesis database how to write a phd thesis help with thesis statements

    March 23, 2021 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. BrfgMile

    https://ljcialishe.com/ – cialis cost cvs https://cialisvja.com/ – cost of cialis 5mg https://viagraonlinejc.com/ – use viagra https://viagratx.com/ – viagra samples https://buycialisxz.com/ – cialis dosage for bph

    March 24, 2021 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. jackpot casino

    hollywood casino free slot play https://casinoxsbest.com/ casino game odds

    March 26, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. LmoppEncox

    http://essaywriteris.com/ – professional essay writers review essay writing company reviews auto essay writer cheap essay service

    March 26, 2021 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. JvqqEncox

    https://dissertationahelp.com/ – best dissertation editing services dissertation help uk dissertation proposal help theses and dissertations

    March 26, 2021 at 21:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. no deposit casino codes

    casino free games slots https://casinoxsgames.com/ big deal casino new york ny

    March 27, 2021 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ethereum gambling

    Thanks for the article on how to find free cryptocurrency. If you are interested this website has more promotions and offers for people to boost their earnings.


    March 27, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. GrvCrulk

    [url=https://kloviagrli.com/]buy cheap viagra[/url] [url=https://vigedon.com/]viagra manufacturer[/url] [url=https://llecialisjaw.com/]cialis cost per pill[/url] [url=https://jwcialislrt.com/]cialis generic online[/url] [url=https://jecialisbn.com/]buying cialis from canada[/url]

    March 27, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. jackpot party casino

    how many slot machines at pottawatamie casino in on milwaukchunk baraboo wi https://casinoxsonline.com/ blue chip casino michigan city indiana

    March 30, 2021 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesis in writing thesis statistics thesis writing practice thesis proposal help

    March 31, 2021 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. casino games real payout

    club player casino promo codes feb 2017 https://casinoxsplay.com/ black oak casino gambling age

    April 2, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. florida casino online real money

    new san diego casino https://casinoxsbonus.com/ casino games vegas

    April 2, 2021 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. free online keno casino games

    million dollar bingo at turning stone casino august 12 https://casinoxsbest.com/ evansville new trop casino

    April 2, 2021 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. new hotel casino phoenix arizona

    do they have penny slot machines at the golden nugett casino in las vegas https://casinoxsonline.com/ wild casino bonus code

    April 2, 2021 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rolex explorer replica

    185907 404786Your writing is fine and gives food for thought. I hope that Ill have more time to read your articles . Regards. I wish you which you frequently publish new texts and invite you to greet me 781052

    April 7, 2021 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesiswritingtob.com thesis editing services thesiswritingtob.com phd thesis search

    April 8, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. buy tadalafil us

    tadalafil 60 mg for sale https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil generic

    April 11, 2021 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. buy vardenafil over the counter online

    vardenafil 40 mg generic https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil 10 mg

    April 12, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. sildenafil nz cost

    120 mg sildenafil online https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil price canada

    April 14, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. cialis canadian pharmacy

    canadian viagra cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian generic cialis 20mg

    April 15, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. video of transurethral alprostadil admimistering

    how much alprostadil pellets cost https://alprostadildrugs.com/ erection injection medicine

    April 16, 2021 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    What's up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere, when i read this paragraph
    i thought i could also create comment due to this good piece of writing.

    April 16, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. vách vệ sinh

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your site is very helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

    April 16, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    Thanks very nice blog!

    April 17, 2021 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. viagra in canada for sale to united states

    organic viagra in canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ how much is viagra in canada

    April 19, 2021 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    It's great that you are getting ideas from this post as well as from our argument made
    at this place.

    April 20, 2021 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sterling

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of
    us you actually realize what you're talking about! Bookmarked.
    Please additionally discuss with my website =).
    We may have a hyperlink exchange arrangement among us

    April 21, 2021 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. FbsfEncox

    prescription drug http://uspharmus.com/ Prasugrel

    April 23, 2021 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. AbdgEncox

    discount drugs online pharmacy http://canadianeve21.com/ – canadian pharmacy generic viagra Aristocort

    April 23, 2021 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. AbdgEncox

    FML Forte http://canadianeve21.com/ Luvox

    April 24, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. GvdbCrulk

    tadalafil/sildenafil combo http://boxtadafil.com/ buy liquid tadalafil

    April 24, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    I visited many websites however the audio quality for audio songs existing at this web page is in fact fabulous.

    April 24, 2021 at 04:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. BbdfMile

    viagra boys sports https://gensitecil.com/ viagra and high blood pressure

    April 24, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. LhdvZisse

    cialis prescription online https://asciled.com/ – non prescription cialis cialis ordering australia

    April 24, 2021 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. LhdvZisse

    free cialis no prescription https://asciled.com/ buy low dose cialis online

    April 25, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. GvdbCrulk

    cialis tadalafil 20mg price http://boxtadafil.com/ – cialis tadalafil 10 mg cheap tadalafil 20mg

    April 25, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RfvbZisse

    cialis 20mg online http://cileve.com/ – cialis usa 36 hour cialis

    April 25, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. JbsdEncox

    Provera canada pharmacies prescription drugs canadian prescriptions

    April 26, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. vách ngăn vệ sinh

    Hiya very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I'll bookmark your web site and take
    the feeds also? I am satisfied to search out numerous helpful information here in the post, we need work out
    extra strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. .
    . . . .

    April 26, 2021 at 08:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. FbsfEncox

    Gyne-Lotrimin http://uspharmus.com/ canadian pharmacy generic viagra

    April 26, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. avana

    avana canada buy avanafil

    April 27, 2021 at 06:59 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.