Excipients: Questions to ask

Last updated: Thursday, October 06, 2016


There's a range of information you may need before answering a clinical question involving an excipient. Sometimes you'll be asked about excipients directly by the patient because there are substances they know that they can't take. On other occasions you might be raising the question yourself: 'If it's not the drug causing this reaction, could it be an excipient?' 

Of course, you'll want to check the patient's drug history and medical history, and if you're being asked about use of a specific medicine you'll need the indication, dose, frequency, route of administration and expected duration of treatment. There are some general questions to ask when problem solving, but what else do you need to know that's specific to excipients?

Have a think about the sort of information you may need when dealing with a clinical problem involving excipients. What questions might you ask about the medicine(s) involved, and about the patient?

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