“I only do hypoallergenic medicines!”

A couple of times a year, I’ll go to prescribe a medication and the patient will remind me: “Don’t give me anything with Red Dye Number 6.” That’s when I try to find a reason to not prescribe anything.

Sometimes, however, you’re stuck. You write the prescription. No one has any idea what dye is in the medication, if any. The patient goes to the pharmacy and tells the pharmacist: “It better not have Red Dye Number 6! Does it have Red Dye Number 6?”

The pharmacy tech: “I dunno. Ask your doctor.”

Our phone rings. Our response: “We have no idea. Ask your pharmacist. They have the printed insert. They can look it up.”Now things are getting testy. The pharmacy is crowded. The pharmacist is super busy.

The whole nonsense is the particular dye in question is in eighteen different foods, drinks and candies the patient ate today without ill effect.

Logic will not work here, however, and ultimately what happens is the drug is substituted for a drug the patient used in the past without horrible problems.

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