The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
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Does anyone know of a pain pill without food dye?!!!

Discussion in 'Pain and Inflammation' started by Gingergrrl, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I have recently had two allergic reactions to food dyes (Tartrazine and Carmine) and after discussing with my doctor, cannot take meds or supplements (or foods) with these categories of dyes.

    The pain pill that I currently take for severe menstrual cramps (and recently also for pinched nerve in my neck) is Norco 5/325 and I take 1/2 pill at a time as needed.

    However, after requesting the print outs from CVS Pharmacy of all my meds, I learned that Norco has two food dyes in it Red #40 and Yellow #6 so this is now out for me- even though I have not had a bad reaction to this med. It is only a matter of time until I do react to it and I don't know what it is doing to my system histamine wise.

    I called CVS and they said that they cannot get any other version (brand or generic) of Norco for me but even if they could, from my internet search, they all have food dyes.

    I have been trying to find any pain pill that does not have food dyes, including just plain Tylenol and Advil, and cannot find anything!!! Does every single pain pill on earth have food dyes?!!!

    This is insane. I swear, I will offer a prize to anyone who can solve this for me! :trophy:

    ETA- I know there is magnesium, arnica and other things for pain but I am talking about a real pain pill.
     
    justy likes this.
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    You used to be able to buy aspirin without dyes but I haven't noticed recently. I'd call a compounding pharmacy about this.
     
  3. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Tramadol? My pills are white. They are the generic, Ultram. Ultram has been a miracle drug for me at least for that deep achy type of pain.

    I have been on it for tweve years. My dosage has not changed in twelve years. If I go without it, which is rarely more than two days, I haven't experienced any withdrawal symptoms.. It does not make me sleepy or dopey beyond the expected fogginess of this illness.

    My neurologist now has me on .5 mg which I take in the afternoon whether I am in pain or not and that has significantly helped my RLS. I tend to wait to take the med. and then it's harder to get on top of the pain. After four is too late. I can take up to 200 mg. per day and there are days I need that much. My dosage usually averages to about 150 mg. per day.

    I am trying to get the extended release since I sometimes hesitate to take the meds. We tried to get the extended release about seven years ago but my health insurance didn’t cover it as supposedly the extended release isn't more effective. However this may have changed and my neurologist is looking into this.

    A couple of points. Ultraset is not for long term use as it contains ultram plus tylenol.For some reason, ultram seems to work for some people and not others but you know this fairly soon after starting it. Opiates do not touch my pain. It also doesn't work for me if I have a headache.

    If l remember correctly, ultram works in a different area of the brain. It increases seretonin so if you are taking an antidepressant, your doctor needs to take that into account. ADs can help with pain but you would have to take a high dose. It's still considered a type of opiate but certainly not as high as other opiates such as hydrocodone.

    I'm just reporting my experience which may or may not pertain to you and needs to be worked out with your doctor.

    Good luck.

    Barb
     
    Misfit Toy likes this.
  4. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Sushi I forgot to say that I can't tolerate aspirin since I was a child but not sure if it is a true allergy. But the Tartrazine website (food dye that caused my severe reaction) said that most people who don't tolerate it also don't tolerate aspirin so this makes sense to me. Great idea re: contacting my compounding pharmacy and I was going to be doing that anyway re: another med.

    @barbc56 Thank you and I have never taken Tramadol or researched it but unbelievably my Norco's that have both red and yellow food dye in them are also white! I have learned from this experience and getting all the print outs from CVS that many pills that are white still have dyes in them. I have no idea why!

    It seems there is one newer version of Vicodin (at the Norco strength of 5/325) that does not have any food dyes but I need to investigate this further. I don't need them for every day but need some kind of pain pill for severe cramps 3-4 days per month and terrified not to have anything (but also terrified of the allergic reaction getting worse and going into anaphylactic shock!)
     
  5. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I'm not sure if the Mallinckrodt generic brand has "food dye", but the 2 chemicals you listed don't seem to be mentioned in the "Full Prescribing Information" (attached)

    As mentioned earlier a compounding pharmacist can order hydrocodone bitartrate in powder form which by the MSDS (attached) is 100% pure crystalline powder. This would also eliminate the 325mg of acetaminophen as well.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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  7. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    If the offending meds are in capsules containing dye, you could buy empty gelatin capsules (I buy them off Ebay) and transfer the contents. Fiddly, but you'd have dye-less meds.
     
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  8. Iquitos

    Iquitos Senior Member

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    It's not a pill but medical cannabis is good for pain, especially menstrual pain. Queen Victoria of England used it for that.
     
  9. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @August59 Thank you so much for this info and the Mallinckrodt version of the 5/325 is the one that we found last night that does not contain food dyes per their prescribing info (so the fact that you independently found it and interpreted it the same way is very re-assuring to me.) Now I have to figure out which local pharmacy has this and try to get a prescription. My pharmacy now knows that I am allergic to food dyes so I am hoping they do not give me any problems with this. I will return the entire bottle of pills with the dye (for them to discard) and hoping they can notate this in my records. You win the prize for this one LOL! :trophy::trophy::trophy::trophy::trophy::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::gift::gift::gift::gift::gift:
     
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  10. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    Can you get liquid Benadryl? Not sure if that has crap in it too...
     
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  11. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    There is a dye free Benadryl that I am trying to find (in case I have a severe allergic reaction and Zyrtec does not work) but in general I do not plan to take Benadryl and it would not be for pain. No idea what the liquid version has but I am now learning that pretty much every OTC med in the U.S. has food dyes in them (and most prescriptions too.) I had no idea about this issue before it pertained to me.
     
  12. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @Sasha Sadly all of these meds are tablets and not capsules but that is a great idea if it happens with a capsule med in the future.
     
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  13. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    Yeah, I meant for allergies. It's a good drug to have lying around when you have a mast cell attack. Saved my life on several occasions.
     
  14. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Totally agree and by the end of today I will either get dye free Benadryl at CVS or order on Amazon. I feel very freaked out by this whole mast cell thing and the two reactions that I had (to a candy and then a supplement were both items that I have eaten/taken before so I don't know what to expect next.) This is pretty much my #1 priority right now.
     
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  15. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    I can totally relate. I've been there myself where you never know if the next food you put into your mouth or some nasty fragrance someone sprays themselves with and walks into your room will send you into a reaction. I didn't really fear/respect this illness per se until I developed MCAD a few years ago.

    Benadryl is great though. It really shuts that shit down.
     
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  16. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    I AM ALSO UNABLE TO FIND A pain killer that I can tolerate - my problem with drugs is itching nd I haven't been able to take any painkillers since last November. There have been days when I have been deperate for pain relief so I took a plain paracetomol. Within an hour I felt like a different person- I hadn't realised how much low level pain I was in, but within 2 hours I was itching full force and it didn't stop for 24 hours.
     
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  17. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @justy I am so sorry and totally relate to this since my two allergic reactions. Although I do not get itching, I am so terrified of the next reaction that I am not taking the pain pills even though I am dying of cramps today. I found an older bottle of my former cramps medicine that does not have food dyes and took one but it is not as effective for the pain and it only had three pills left.

    As a general update, we just got back from CVS and got the dye free Benadryl and a generic version of dye free Tylenol. There is no dye free Zantac so we will get this at a compounding pharmacy. I spoke with the manager re: switching to the dye free version of Norco (and she knows me and that I am trustworthy) but she said CVS only has a contract with one manufacturer. So in April (next week) she is going to try to place a special order for me and I will get new prescription from my doctor in which he documents my allergy to food dyes and why I need this specific brand (Mallinckrodt.) Hopefully it will work or I have to switch to a different pharmacy which I don't want to do.
     
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  18. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    Glad you are getting somewhere with this. Speaking to some people in the UK with MCAS and EDS I here that many just have to go without drugs at all.

    Luckily I have been ok so far with an H1 and H2 blocker - although the Zantac caused an increase in itching at first it was also when I was taking Gaviscon - I stopped the Gaviscon and the itching stopped, so wasn't the Zantac after all. My local GP said he has never heard of anyone reacting to Gaviscon, but it is full of E numbers and even says on the bottle that It can cause allergic reactions. Im afraid I was rather rude to him on the phone, when he said I should carry on taking it, didn't listen to his advice and seems I was right anyway.

    So sorry to hear of you developing this problem - are you going to start taking regular H1 and H2 blockers? have they tested you for Mastocytosis or MCAS? have they considered mast cell stabiliser as well?

    I am actually feeling a little better and stronger in myself since starting the Zantac at full dose daily as well as the Loratidine double dose - it may be that mast cell issues are causing more pf my issues than I thought - my large body jerking has barely happened at all recently and it was happening many times a day!
     
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