Active ingredient is the component of a drug responsible for its effect. In addition to providing therapeutic benefits, active pharma ingredients can also cause adverse or unintended effects, leading to mild discomfort or worse.
When prescribing medication for you, the beneficial effects should outweigh any adverse effects. Additionally, adverse reactions should be tolerable. If any active ingredient in a medication causes serious or intolerable side effects for you, it is typically discontinued.
According to the FDA, api active pharmaceutical ingredient is any component that provides pharmacological activity or any direct effect on the structure or any function of the body of humans or animals in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease.
Active ingredients are also known as therapeutic active ingredients or drug active ingredients. In addition to active ingredients, most drugs also contain inactive ingredients such as coloring agents, binders, and preservatives.
Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, PMDD and social anxiety disorder.
Sometimes, if you are taking more than one medication, the active pharma ingredients in the two or more drugs you are taking can interact dangerously with each other.
For example, taking Zoloft with another antidepressant monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) can lead to a serious drug interaction. Serotonin syndrome, characterized by muscle rigidity, muscle spasms, hyperthermia, changes in vital signs, irritability, extreme agitation, delirium, and coma can occur.
Prilosec (omeprazole) is an over-the-counter medication used to treat GERD, stomach ulcers, or heartburn, and its active ingredient is magnesium omeprazole. The most common side effects of Prilosec are stomach ache, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache.
BJ's Allergy Medicine is an over-the-counter medication used to treat nasal allergies and hay fever, and its active drug ingredient is diphenhydramine hydrochloride, also sold under the Benadryl brand name. Some common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, stomach discomfort, blurred vision, dry mouth/nose/throat.
If you have any questions about medications your pharmacist can help you understand how to safely and effectively use prescription and over-the-counter drugs.