Medicine sensitivity is common to people with multiple chemical sensitivity due to impaired liver detoxification, heightened nerve inflammation and sensitisations to the nervous system and over activation of inflammatory Mast Cells. For this reason a multi dimensional approach combining chemical (and other trigger) exposure reduction and non pharmacological stress and symptom management strategies recommended to people with other Central Sensitivity Syndromes (CSS) such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is usually preferred - See Treatment.

For some people however, medications can be helpful and may even decrease sensitivities. Most useful seem to be anti-histamines, Tricylic Antidepressants, Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Pregabalin (Lyrica). These generally need to be started on lower doses than usual and increased slowly under medical supervision to test for tolerance. Following the same recommendations made by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the MCS related condition Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Centre of Disease Control Says...
"Many CFS patients are sensitive to medications, particularly sedating medications. Therapeutic benefits can often be achieved at lower than normal dosages, so try prescribing a fraction of the usual recommended dose to start and gradually increase as necessary and as tolerated. All medications can cause side effects, which may lead to new symptoms or exacerbate existing symptoms, so it is important to routinely monitor all prescription drugs, OTC therapies and supplements the patient is taking."

For people with more severe pharmacological food intolerance medicine sensitivity is generally increased particularly to aspirin, many anti-inflammatories (e.g. NSAID, Cox 2 inhibitors), anti-depressants and others containing salicylates and phenols. People with Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD) also experience a number of medicine sensitivities and need to use medicines cautiously. Many of the medicine sensitivities experienced by people with MCAD are similar to those who have severe phenol-salicylate intolerance.

Medications and other to avoid if you have salicylate intolerance include:

    • Cough lollies, syrups and medications, mouthwash or inhalations that contain menthol, mint, camphor, eucalyptus or tea tree oil. These may make you feel better but can be powerful irritants for individuals with allergy, food and chemical sensitivities.
    • Pain relieving medications to avoid are aspirin, natural herbal pain relieving compounds, non-steroid anti-inflammatory agents (Advil, Nurofen, Voltaren).
    • Avoid liquid paracetamol preparations as they are coloured and/or flavoured and should not be given if tolerance to them has not been tested.
    • Antioxidants, multivitamins and other nutritional products with preservatives, flavourings, colourings, bioflavonoids, herbs, rutin, kelp or hesperidin.
    • Refer guide: Medications for use with a Low Phenolic Diet at For a list of medications etc that may be tolerated see Low salicylate Medications: Medications listed as suitable for those with salicylate and amine (Phenolic) sensitivities by the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Clinic.