Concern Over ‘Hidden’ Lactose in Gastrointestinal Drugs


Reported in Foods Matter (April 2009) – Dr P Eadala from Llandough Hospital in Cardiff and his team have highlighted a problems of which many Foods Matter readers are already only too aware. Using a technique called high-performance liquid chromatography they assessed levels of lactose, glucose, fructose, sucrose and other sugars in a variety of drugs listed in the British National Formulary. Analysis revealed that many of the medications studied, including proton pump inhibitors, corticosteroids, aminosalicylates and immunosuppressants, which are used to treat reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcers and other conditions, contained levels of lactose high enough to affect those with lactose intolerance. Indeed, some combinations of medications could result in a patient consuming over 10g of lactose a day in addition to that taken in their diet …

Worryingly, doctors may not know that the medicines they prescribe contain lactose as the details of the excipients in medicines are not available in the British National Formulary (the most trusted guide used by doctors in UK). More at

This story was reprinted with permissions from Foods Matter (April 2009 issue), the magazine for food allergies and intolerances.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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