We do NOT advise you to stop taking medication or prescribed drugs for vegan reasons without consulting your GP.
There is a legal requirement that medicines are tested on non-human animals prior to clinical trials in humans. It is however possible to obtain medicines that do not contain animal ingredients.
If you are able to access the internet, you can check the ingredients of your prescribed medication online. The website www.medicines.org.uk contains information on prescription and over-the-counter medications licenced for use in the UK. The patient information leaflet contains a full ingredients listing. You can then check the product for animal ingredients. Obvious ones to look out for are gelatine, lactose, shellac, lanolin and beeswax, but there are others.
If you do not have access to the internet, you can still enquire as to whether your medicine is animal free by contacting a pharmacist. Pharmacists hold lists of ingredients for medicines and should be able to advise you. If the first one you consult cannot give you the required information, it is worth approaching another one who may prove to be more helpful. If you do manage to find a pharmacist who is willing to help you, they can be an invaluable resource.
If you are unable to tell from the list of ingredients whether the product contains animal substances, then you can contact the manufacturer to ask. If you have found a helpful pharmacist, they might be willing to contact the manufacturer on your behalf. By contacting the manufacturer, you will not only find out whether the product is free of animal ingredients, but you will also show them that there is a demand for such products. This will encourage them to improve their labeling and to look for animal free alternatives.
Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world. It may be that after all your investigations, you are still unable to determine whether the medicine that you have been prescribed is free from animal ingredients. In The Vegan Society’s Memorandum of Association, veganism is used to denote a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude- as far as possible and practicable- all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals. You yourself know best what your own particular situation is, what efforts you can make and what possible and practicable means for you.
COMMONLY USED OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICINES
For your convenience, the following is a list of commonly used painkillers, treatments for coughs and colds and indigestion remedies.
Pharmaceutical companies regularly change the contents of their products so it is prudent to check with the company to ensure that they are still free from animal ingredients.
- Aspro Clear
- Aspro Clear Maximum Strength
- Co-Codamol Effervescent
- Paracodol Tablets
Chefaro UK Ltd.
- Hedex Extra
- Panadol Actifast
- Panadol Actifast Soluble Tablets
- Panadol Extra
- Panadol Extra Soluble
- Panadol Original
- Solpadeine Headache Soluble Tablets
- Solpadeine Migraine Ibuprofen & Codeine Tablets
- Solpadeine Plus Soluble
- Solpadeine Plus Tablets
- Solpadeine Max Soluble
- Calpol Infant Suspension
- Calpol Sugar Free Infant Suspension
- Calpol Sugar Free Colour Free Oral Suspension
- Calpol Six Plus Suspension
- Calpol Six Plus Sugar-Free Suspension
- Calpol Six Plus Fast Melts
Relief for coughs and colds:
Chefaro UK Ltd.
- Beechams Flu Plus Caplets
- Beechams Flu-Plus Hot Berry Fruits
- Beechams Flu-Plus Hot Lemon
- Beechams Cold and Flu Hot Blackcurrant
- Beechams Cold and Flu Hot Lemon
- Beechams Max Strength Sore Throat Relief Blackberry Lozenges
- Day Nurse Liquid
- Night Nurse Liquid
- Alka Seltzer: Original and XS
- Original Andrews Salts
- Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia
- Setlers Antacid