Background In humans, lactase activity continues after weaning and in adulthood in about 30% of the population (lactase persistence), but in the others the lactase enzyme is absent (alactasia) or deficient (hypolactasia). It is important to be aware that lactose is often present in a wide range of medicines in higher amounts than previously suspected. It is well known that most patients with lactose intolerance can ingest up to 10–12 g without experiencing symptoms. Others consider the safety limit to be as low as 5 g. However in clinical practice, it is very common to find individuals who have symptoms of lactose intolerance after consuming only very small quantities of the sugar.
Purpose To discover the presence or absence of lactose in the oral cytostatic drugs most commonly used in a third level university hospital.
Material and methods A descriptive study. We reviewed the product information of the commonly used cytostatic drugs.
Results A total of 94 drugs (31 active ingredients) with different doses and manufacturers was reviewed. 48.6% of the active medicines contained lactose as excipient. The median was 84 mg lactose. The oral cytostatic with most of this excipient was Revlimid 10mg whose lactose content was 294 mg and the least was capecitabine 150 mg Accord EFG with 7 mg of lactose.
Conclusion The sensitivity to lactose is variable between individuals so it is important to know the degree of individual lactose intolerance and the absence or presence of it in the medicines and in what quantity
References and/or acknowledgements none
No conflict of interest.
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