Dye Free · Rants & Raves

The Other Ingredient To Look Out For In Children’s Medicine Even If It’s Dye Free…



***This is a post from my old site, but as cold and flu season approaches, this post might prove helpful. ***

See that cute kid below? The one with the dark circles under her eyes? She was sick this week and was given a prescription for antibiotics. I went in fully prepared and requested dye free since 99% of medicines, especially those for children, have dyes.


Great, right? She’ll be well in no time, right? And we avoided the dye monster? Well, we did avoid the dye monster, but who knew something else was lurking?

Turns out that even though the medicine was not filled with dyes, it WAS filled with preservatives. Sodium benzoate to be specific. Another big no no if you follow The Feingold Diet. Sodium benzoate can cause the same reaction as food dyes in hypersensitive kids like Paige.

That’s exactly what it did. Every afternoon, like clockwork, it’s tantrum central around here. 10 days of tantrums is what we have to look forward to. Thank goodness at this point we are halfway through. And even better that she will be done with the antibiotic well before Christmas. I sure would hate to suffer through Christmas like this.

What’s Sodium Benzoate? It’s a food preservative, commonly used in foods, medicines and cosmetics.

Sodium benzoate has a laundry list of side effects, Wikipedia lists hyperactivity as one. Here’s the link to the post. It’s interesting to see that it’s also listed as a side effect on Drugs.com (amongst a ton of other side effects). It has such a long list of side effects, I’m honestly shocked they still use it.

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What’s my point? My point is that if your child is sensitive to food dyes, they can also be sensitive to preservatives like sodium benzoate. When it comes to prescription medicines, there really isn’t anyway to avoid them since they are used to prolong the shelf life. They’re also in many cough medicines, allergy medicines, and even children’s pain relievers. It’s pretty tough to get away from it if you’re using over the counter medicines. You can always ask your doctor or pharmacist if there’s another option. Don’t be surprised if they either don’t know what sodium benzoate is or they tell you it’s in all medicines.

*Sidenote* Unfortunately, medicines aren’t the only place sodium benzoates are found. It’s also found in a lot of foods we eat as well as mouthwash, shampoo, body lotions, etc. For more information, here’s a link to a great article from Naturally Savvy on the dangers of sodium benzoate.

Don’t get discouraged if you’ve eliminated all the dyes and still have occasional issues with your child, we really don’t stand much of a chance these days until more companies choose to eliminate the nasty chemicals. And I’m happy to say that change is slowly happening, so hopefully in the near future, all these will be a thing of the past or at least give us more options.

Have you found a sodium benzoate free medicine that you like? Let me know so I can share it with my readers.

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