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Many modern medicines have colors derived from synthetic dyes, taking on colors like red, yellow, or green. Synthetic dyes add nothing to the medical efficacy of a commercial medication product, leading people to wonder whether they can ever find medicine without chemical additives.
Even worse, lots of the most popular medications for children use coloring dyes to make them more palatable – kids are notoriously picky. Since dyes can cause an allergic reaction in some kids, many parents are understandably worried about using these drugs, even when their little ones are sick.
Good news: compounding pharmacies can make dye-free medication for most commercial drugs. Here’s how.
Why Are Dyes Added to Medicine?
In all cases, prescription medicine products contain food dyes to change their color and make them more palatable. Even though we take medicine to treat temporary or chronic health conditions, we still consume oral medication with our eyes first and foremost.
It isn’t easy to get people to take some prescription medicine if they aren’t visually appealing. As a result, before 1906, many pharmacies and medical companies mixed color additives into their drugs. Even today, most over-the-counter medication is a colorless or visually unappealing mass before packaging into a capsule or liquid syrup.
However, many synthetic dyes’ dangers to various patients came to light. The 1906 Pure Food and Drugs Act prevented companies from mixing color additives in medications to a much greater extent. Before 1906, there were over 80 coloring dyes in medical products. Now there are only eight commonly used dyes in health products.
Can Dyes Be Harmful?
Disclaimer: This is Not Medical Advice
Dyes (both synthetic and organic) are usually unnecessary for medical products. They are sometimes harmful due to how they interact with various drugs or biochemical compounds in a patient’s body.
Furthermore, many children sometimes experience allergies once they ingest synthetic dyes. Even adults with sensitive immune or inflammatory systems can experience adverse symptoms or an allergy after consuming a medicine with one or more synthetic dyes added for visual reasons. Many parents look for dye-free medicine for their kids for these reasons.
Ultimately, there’s no reason for you to take medicine that has artificial dyes if you can avoid it. This is doubly true if you are purchasing medications for your children or if you or your children have previously experienced an allergic reaction or another health complication.
Can You Get Dye-Free Medicine?
Yes, though you may need to avoid traditional pharmacies to get dye-free medicine. Instead, a compounding pharmacy might be a better choice for you and your family.
Compounding pharmacies create medications by mixing ingredients from FDA-approved products together to create medicine with the exact dosage and formulation required for your needs.
For example, a compounding pharmacist can re-create an over-the-counter drug without an unnecessary dye (and without an allergy risk). They do this by utilizing the raw chemicals with dye-free bases and avoiding the use of potentially harmful components.
However, compounding pharmacies don’t create FDA-approved products, so it’s essential to speak to your doctor before trying a dye-free compound medication.