Do you take non-vegan cold/allergy medicine? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-30-2006, 12:59 PM
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I've been vegan for almost a year and since then, I havn't taken any type of medicine, for fear it's not vegan. I used to take daily allergy medicine since I have bad allergies but dropped that right when I went vegan. I also got a really bad cold several months ago that lasted 2 weeks, but I refused to take any medicine since I know nothing the docter prescribes is vegan.



I guess my question is, what do you do when you get sick, or are in some kind of pain? Do you just take the medicine to try to get better, and try not to think about it not being vegan...or do you just hope you'll get better without taking anything? I can't imagine taking anything, because I would feel so guilty taking something with animal products in it just to ease my pain, but then again, I don't know if I'm going to far.



Thanks for any feedback.
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#2 Old 06-30-2006, 01:15 PM
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its a tricky one. if i have the choice between taking something and being really sick, or not, i'll take it. you have to find your own line that you're happy to walk, and decide where your own cut off point is.



are you talking about the fact that medicines are animal tested, or contain animal products? i take an antihistamine daily (my life would not be very nice without it, in my opinion) which comes in a lactose free liquid form so is animal product free (took me a while to find it, lol, but i did) so there are some drugs around that don't come in a gelatine shell or contain dairy and or egg derivatives.



you could always consider trying to ethically balance the choice to take a not 100% vegan medicine by being proactive in trying to change the laws around animal testing, and contacting drug companies to request they consider swapping lactose for sucrose as a filler in their drugs, and swapping gelatine shells for cellulose, that way you're trying to change the situtation for the better.



you could also look into your local health food store, or into finding out about herbal, homeopathic, and non mainstream medicines for things like allergies or colds, there are plenty of things that can help that don't come from the doctors office or the local pharmacy.
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#3 Old 07-01-2006, 01:09 AM
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Do what you need to to stay well. See a doctor or heath professional as needed.



Me? I take herbs, go to the acupuncturist and take care of it all naturally. Except for the dentist, I haven't had to seek 'traditional' care in years. I haven't been sick once during all these years as a vegan and neither has my daughter or SO.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" Auntie Mame
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#4 Old 02-12-2008, 04:00 AM
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Hi,

I just stumbled upon this forum because I'm in France and I'm looking for allergy medicine. I bought one at the pharmacy only to discover when I got home that it had lactose in it. So I looked up information on Claritin and found that that has lactose in it as well. So that's a bummer. But I'm wondering if you can tell me, hoodedclawjen, what is the lactose free liquid allergy medicine that you take. Or, if anyone else has ideas, I would be very happy to hear them. My allergies are horrible but I don't want to take something with lactose, or any other animal products. Thanks, guys. Take care.
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#5 Old 02-12-2008, 04:48 AM
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I think there is a balance between doing the right thing by animals and doing the right thing by yourself. If you are suffering for two weeks with a cold I don't think anyone would blame you for taking medication that wasn't vegan. If you're vegan the rest of the time then you're already doing loads to reduce animal suffering. I wouldn't feel too guilty about a small bit of medication if you really need it. It's true what someone else posted, it's probably easier to do what you can to campaign against animal ingredients and animal testing of medicines.
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#6 Old 02-12-2008, 05:43 AM
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I have to take allergy medicine for at least 6-7 months per year. I remind myself that the definition of vegan is to avoid animal products as far as practical and possible. It is not practical for me to stay home from work for 6 months per year. I only developed allergies fairly recently, and until I started buying allergy meds, I was using one entire box of Kleenex per day! That's both bad for the environment and me, because if I'm blowing my nose all day long I can't get any work done at all



Even if I find allergy pills that don't contain animal ingredients, they were still tested on animals . So yes, I do take non-vegan medicine, but for me it is not possible to go without them.
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#7 Old 02-12-2008, 06:05 AM
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wallace, I've not used Claritin, but I've found Zirtek/Zyrtec to be helpful for pet allergies. Cetirizine hydrocloride is the chemical name. The name brand had lactose in it, but a couple of the off-brands were vegan. However, I'm sure that all of them have been animal tested. For me, it was just the best solution I could find.



For seasonal allergies, I think there are some herbal remedies that work well. I've been taking stinging nettle for a few years, and it works very well to relieve the itchy eyes, sore throat, etc. I still sometimes get pretty sneezy, but not as much as "normal".

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#8 Old 02-12-2008, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Hi,

I just stumbled upon this forum because I'm in France and I'm looking for allergy medicine. I bought one at the pharmacy only to discover when I got home that it had lactose in it. So I looked up information on Claritin and found that that has lactose in it as well. So that's a bummer. But I'm wondering if you can tell me, hoodedclawjen, what is the lactose free liquid allergy medicine that you take. Or, if anyone else has ideas, I would be very happy to hear them. My allergies are horrible but I don't want to take something with lactose, or any other animal products. Thanks, guys. Take care.



in the UK, i took a liquid version of generic Cetirizine (the one iamjen recommended) which was prescribed to me. Over here in Canada (i moved!) i take a liquid version of the same drug, which is marketed and available on the shelf as a childrens version under the brand Reactine.



while it doesn't sound appealing, your best bet is to stand in the biggest local chemist you can find, and read the label on the back of every different brand of antihistamine packet, until you find one without lactose. i'd start with the liquid kiddie versions, from experience. i ran it through a few online translators, and lactose seems to be the same word in french, if that helps with label reading.



Zirtek/Zyrtec/Cetirizine is the best (ok, only) antihistamine that really works for me, but there are sometimes a few others that come without lactose- i remember that Piriton Syrup (chlorphenamine maleate) did too- totally put me to sleep, but my nose didn't bug me then at least, lol.
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#9 Old 02-14-2008, 12:34 PM
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Cool, thanks for the ideas. I went back to the pharmacy (which is a pretty small pharmacy) and asked the pharmacist whether he had any allergy medicine without lactose. He checked a few things and couldn't find any and eventually refunded my money. That also reminded me: Aren't some people allergic to lactose, even in small dosages, as well as foods or whatever else? So why put lactose in an allergy medicine?? It's not like I'm in desperate need of my allergy pill being slightly sweet tasting! I suppose maybe the lactose serves another purpose than taste, though. I'll have to keep looking..
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#10 Old 02-15-2008, 05:41 AM
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I think the lactose is used to make it shiny and smooth, to make it easier to swallow. It can also be a filler. I have read though, that most people with lactose intolerance are nto affected by the amount found in medicines. I would think someone allergic to milk would be bothered, but that's a very small subset of the population.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#11 Old 02-15-2008, 08:05 AM
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Cool, thanks for the ideas. I went back to the pharmacy (which is a pretty small pharmacy) and asked the pharmacist whether he had any allergy medicine without lactose. He checked a few things and couldn't find any and eventually refunded my money.



awww, i'm sorry! i spose getting an amazingly cheap day return ticket on the train to england is out of the question, hehehe?! i hope it works out still- you might have better luck with a bigger pharmacy.



Quote:
Aren't some people allergic to lactose, even in small dosages, as well as foods or whatever else? So why put lactose in an allergy medicine?? It's not like I'm in desperate need of my allergy pill being slightly sweet tasting! I suppose maybe the lactose serves another purpose than taste, though. I'll have to keep looking..



lactose allergy... i don't think its seen as possible by the mainstream allergy people to be allergic to sugar, cos its not a protein, and doesn't bind to protein (complicated science stuff) but there are people around with sugar intollerances. as iamjen said, the amount in medicine is meant to be low enough to go under the lactose-intollerance radar, but that hasn't been my personal experience. i spose lactose intollerant people have the options of seeking out a compounding pharmacy, or getting prescribed/buying lactease (breaks down lactose for the body before it hits the intestines) or something similar alongside their meds.
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