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Friday, June 11, 2010

Case Study #3 – Zyrtec

Zyrtec

I called Zyrtec today because it was pointed out to me they now have two formulations.

One formulation contains corn starch, one does not. Before I continue, here are the two formulations, both with the same active ingredient (Cetirizine HCl (10mg).

Inactive ingredients (without corn starch): Colloidal Silocon Dioxide, Croscarmellose Sodium, Hypromellose, Lactose Monohydrate, Magnesium Stearate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Polyethylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide

And the alternate version of inactive ingredients:

Inactive ingredients (with corn starch): Carnauba Wax, Corn Starch, Hypromellose, Lactose Monohydrate, Magnesium Stearate, Polyethylene Glycol, Povidone, Titanium Dioxide

When I asked about the differing formulations, it was explained they now make a "corn-free formulation for those who are allergic". I was then asked if I was allergic to corn and explained that I yes, I am allergic to corn.

Here's the rest of the conversation:

Me: That's great you provide a corn-free formula. I'd like to ask about the source of some of the ingredients of the formula without corn starch.

Rep: Okay.

Me: What is the source ingredient of the Magnesium Stearate?

Rep: It says here it is from a vegetable or plant source, NOT animal.

Me: Okay, what vegetable?

Rep: It doesn't say.

Me: So it could be corn.

Rep: This formula is corn free, you know that because there is no corn starch.

Me: Will the package state "corn-free"?

Rep: No, we cannot guarantee it is corn free, as we do not test for the presence of, nor absence of corn. But since there is no corn starch, you know it is corn free!

Me: Thank you for your time.

Again, that statement was, “We do not test for the presence of, nor absence of corn.” So I have to ask, what was the purpose of creating a secondary formulation just for their corn-allergic customers, if they do not know if it contains corn? Is an allergy to corn simply a marketing gimmick to them?

In case you have any doubt after reading this post, Zyrtec is not safe for you if you have an allergy to corn.

2 comments:

  1. Actually, there is yet another formula... that of the liquid gels...

    Inactive Ingredients: gelatin, glycerin, mannitol, pharmaceutical ink, polyethylene glycol 400, purified water, sodium hydroxide, sorbitan, sorbitol.

    Just thought you'd like to know. My wife got them for me "because it didn't have corn in it"... yeah... she tried... normally, my allergy is such that sorbitol or sorbitan in that small of a quantity causes much problem, but if my allergy histamine load is high, it's enough extra to really make my day suck.

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  2. It's difficult for family members to keep up with all the "Ingredients that may be derived from corn" - geez, it's even difficult for ME to remember it all!

    I did discover recently that there is an over the counter antihistamine that is corn-free (all the inactive ingredients are synthetic), and I have the info the Guide. Here's the info about Alavert:
    http://guide.livecornfree.com/alavert-tablets-non-drowsy-allergy-relief

    Just be careful though, several of their boxes look the same.

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