Friday, May 16, 2008
Dairy lurks EVERYWHERE
Anyone who deals with food allergies knows to check the ingredients of everything every time! Lactose and casein (one of the main proteins found in dairy) are commonly used as binding agents and can show up in paint, glue, toothpaste and many other household items as well as, of course, food.
Our supply of Benadryl just expired and with Zyrtec now available OTC, I decided to switch since it is what our allergist recommends. It is also my allergy medication of choice. Lucky for us Shop Rite had it on sale this week for $9.99 (normally close to $15 each) per bottle PLUS I had $8.00 worth of coupons. We like to have 3 bottles on hand because we have two emergency travel packs and then a supply for the house. So I sent J out to get two bottles of liquid and one chewables thinking the chewables would be convenient for a cooperative allergic child. The liquid is for the times I need to pour it down her throat. :)
Today, I looked at the packaging and saw flavorings (always a red flag) and "lactose monohydrate. Now I have no clue what the monohydrate means and there are ingredients that sound suspiciously like it is from dairy, but end up not being derived from dairy. So, as always, to be safe, I called. And yes, Zyrtec Chewables do indeed contain dairy. So that leads me to this question...
Why in the world would you put one of the Top 8 Food Allergens in an ALLERGY MEDICATION?!?
I'm waiting on confirmation that the liquid is safe from dairy. Since it is typically used as a binding agent, I doubt it - but as an Allergy Mom, we can never assume anything!!!
Let me also point out that Zyrtec has what looks like a handy link entitled, "Meet the Allergens" on their site. Nowhere on this page are food allergies mentioned.
And here is a video that will show you just how severe some children's allergies can be.