“P” is for Cookie (no it’s not)

Greetings, Ninjas in Training!

I was struggling for a title, so I was going to just fill in every word in this post that started with a “p.” However, that started to look just plain preposterous, so I pragmatically picked three. Then I became inspired by the great muse Cookie Monster, so you’re just going to have to deal with a great title that has nothing to do with this post.

We begin today’s broadcast with a really fun question. Ninja Susan writes:

“My physician wants me to get a Colonoscopy. The predrink you drink the nite before has Citric Acid in it, do you know a substitute? The last time I did this, I got so ill I could barely make it to the test and then was ill for almost a week later.”

An excellent question, Ninja Susan. While I can’t make a specific recommendation for colonoscopy prep, I can provide an answer for the more general theme of your question:

“What does one do when your doctor says, “Take the thing,” and you’re like, “But the thing will destroy me and probably the universe”?

…Actually, I was going to say to call a compounding pharmacy.

Compounding pharmacies are different from regular pharmacies in that they make medication specifically for you. For example, if you need to take Benadryl, but are allergic to the inactive ingredient polysorbate 80, they can make you your very own special Benadryl that will not force you to include “Death by Benadryl” in your obituary.

The same is true for citric acid. The great thing about citric acid is that it’s completely useless — okay, well, it’s not an active ingredient. It’s a preservative, which means that most medications can be made very easily without it. Hooray!

So, how do you find one of these magical pharmacies, you ask? Probably Google. Just type in your hometown, followed by “compounding pharmacy,” and you should be able to find something.

Now that you’ve found one, you need to talk to them! Please follow this step by step procedure to ensure a productive conversation:

  1. Write down the name of the medication you need, the prescription amount (if applicable), and your name (just in case you forget).
  2. Call the compounding pharmacy.
  3. Ask to talk to a pharmacist about helping you compound a mixture of (insert medicine here) that will be safe for your allergies.
  4. Explain said allergies.
  5. Pause for dramatic effect*.
  6. Chat it up with the super knowledgable pharmacist. They will probably ask you a number of questions about different things they need to add to the medication, including fillers, liquid solutions, preservatives, and capsules.
  7. For fillers, steer clear of corn starch and potato starch if those are not within your tolerance. Cellulose is ok; I personally have my medications filled with spelt flour, which I send the pharmacy and they keep just for me!
  8. For capsules, gelatin is the way to go.
  9. For preservatives, they may ask to use alcohol or lactose. If you are unable to tolerate either of those**, try asking if they will compound something preservative-free for you. It may take a bit of convincing, along with a special prescription from your doctor that specifically requests no preservatives.
  10. Arrive at an agreement, tell the pharmacist you love them***.
  11. Have your prescription sent to the pharmacy.

*Don’t do that.
**Lactose is safe for ninjas, but some people are lactose intolerant. Alcohol (ethanol) is ok for some ninjas, but may cause a reaction in extremely sensitive ninjas.

That’s all for now, my ninjalings. Until next time…
When life gives you lemons, RUN!
The Lemon Ninja

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