A short time ago I was contacted by a customer who wanted to know if Effer-K contains gluten. Obviously, a person on a gluten-free diet, needs to know if the medication she is taking contains gluten. And because there is a growing number of people choosing or requiring a gluten-free diet1, I wanted to let our customers know if Effer-K contains gluten.
There is a great deal of debate as to whether gluten should be avoided by all people or just those with gluten intolerance. While certain people may choose a gluten-free diet because they believe it is unhealthy for them, a person with gluten intolerance must follow this diet to avoid an adverse reaction. There are varying degrees of sensitivity to gluten in people who suffer from gluten intolerance. The most severe form of gluten intolerance is celiac disease. People with celiac disease will need to adhere to a strict gluten-free diet, including the avoidance of gluten in their medications.2
While the Celiac Disease Foundation states there is an extremely small chance of getting a medication that contains gluten, they recommend you evaluate the ingredients of all medications to eliminate any risk. Since Effer-K does not contain gluten, it is safe to take if you have gluten intolerance.
Many of the questions we get about Effer-K® are ones we are used to answering. But, occasionally, we get an inquiry that challenges us to learn even more about our product.
A few weeks ago we received a call from a pediatric nurse practitioner who wanted to prescribe Effer-K® to a child who needed potassium supplementation. She was excited about the Unflavored Effer-K® because it could be effervesced (and go undetected) in the child’s favorite drink. This child, however, was severely lactose intolerant, so the nurse practitioner was wondering if Effer-K® contained lactose?
After a bit of research we were able to confirm that Effer-K® does not contain lactose and is safe for patients who are lactose intolerant. What we were surprised to learn is that lactose can be found in many non-dairy products such as some types of bread, lunch meat and cereal. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “lactose is also present in about 20 percent of prescription medications, and about 6 percent of over-the-counter medications.” Fortunately, though, not in Effer-K®.
This week we received an inquiry about Effer-K from Nancy*, from Reno, Nevada who is a self-described purist. Nancy had been diagnosed with low potassium in her teens. She has other medical issues as well, which motivated her to become a “purist”. (A person who tries to avoid contamination).
Specifically, Nancy was trying to avoid sodium benzoate, a food preservative that was present in the form of potassium she had been prescribed. Sodium benzoate, when combined with Vitamin C creates benzene, a known carcinogen. In her search to find a medication that adhered to her purist principles, Nancy discovered Effer-K.
Nancy’s concerns caused us to take a closer look at the ingredients in Effer-K. None of the varieties of Effer-K contain sodium benzoate. In addition, Effer-K 10 and 20 mEq Unflavored contain no artificial dyes or sweeteners, and the 10 and 20 mEq flavored varieties of Effer-K are sweetened with sucralose (not saccharin). For more information about the exact ingredients in Effer- K, please see the package insert which is listed on our web site.
Nancy is looking forward to trying our Effer-K 20mEq Unflavored potassium citrate and has requested her free one-month trial of Effer-K. And we are looking forward to hearing how it goes. So we are happy to accomodate you, Nancy, our newest fan of Effer-K, and all the other purists out there in need of potassium repletion.
* Not her real name.