Excipients: Learning outcomes

Last updated: Friday, November 08, 2019

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:
  • Identify the excipients in a medicine.
  • Decide whether a patient's allergy, intolerance, or other reaction is caused by an excipient.
  • Adopt a practical approach to managing reactions to excipients, and be able to advise other professionals about them.

You can download a PDF of the whole tutorial (without interactive elements such as the Learning Exercises) and a one-page summary of key points.

You should allow 60 minutes to complete this tutorial, including the Learning Exercises.


This tutorial is aimed at hospital foundation pharmacists, and may help you meet competencies from the RPS framework including:
  • 1.4  Selection of the medicine (medicine-medicine, medicine-patient, medicine-disease interactions)
  • 1.7  Monitoring medicine therapy
  • 3.2  Knowledge (adverse events)
  • 3.3  Analysing information
  • 3.4  Providing information

Continuing professional development

Finally, here is a CPD activity you could consider:

★  Next time you encounter a patient who has intolerance or allergy to an excipient, see if you can interview them. You could ask how difficult it is to avoid the excipient in practice, how it affects their lifestyle, and whether medicines cause them any particular problems. Write a CPD entry on what you have learned to help improve your approach to this kind of patient in the future.