FD&C Yellow No. 5
Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)
What is FD&C Yellow No. 5?
FD&C Yellow No. 5 is approved as a food-coloring additive in the U.S. FDA performs regulatory review for color additives used in foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices. FD&C Yellow No. 5 is a FDA-approved color commonly used to dye dosage forms such as tablets, capsules, vitamins and antacids. Commonly known as tartrazine, Yellow No. 5 is an azo dye that imparts a lemon-yellow color to foods, drugs and cosmetics.
FD&C colors are the colors certified for use by the U.S. FDA in the food, drug, and cosmetic industry. The FDA states that FD&C Yellow No. 5 may be safely used as a color additive when their specifications are followed.
Over-the-counter and prescription drugs that contain tartrazine shall bear statements on the label stating that the product contains FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) as a color additive or contains color additives including FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine). They may also state that FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) may cause allergic-type reactions (including bronchial asthma) in certain susceptible persons. Although the overall incidence of FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) sensitivity in the general population is low, it is frequently seen in patients who also have aspirin hypersensitivity. This warning statement shall appear in the "Precautions" section of the labeling.
The use of tartrazine in susceptible patients has been reported to lead to allergic or adverse reactions, such as urticaria (hives), eczema, angioedema, asthma and hyperactive behavior. Studies also suggest that patients with asthma and aspirin allergies may have a higher incidence of allergies to azo dyes such as tartrazine. Often, the drugs used to treat severe allergic reactions to tartrazine, such as some antihistamines and corticosteroids, may contain tartrazine, worsening symptoms even further. However, other well-controlled reviews and randomized, controlled trials have not found a higher risk for tartrazine use in patients with asthma and aspirin sensitivity. Patients with a known allergy to tartrazine should discuss with their physician whether they should avoid the additive in food, drugs and cosmetics. Many foods, including organic foods often use the natural dyes annatto or beta carotene to color food yellow, and might a suitable alternative.
 Electronic Code of Federal Registers. Title 21: Food and Drugs. Part 74. Listing of color additives subject to certification. Subpart B. Drugs. Accessed online October 19, 2011. http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr;sid=c387334e82029536a53dde1171ba5481;rgn=div5;view=text;node=21%3A184.108.40.206.27;idno=21;cc=ecfr#21:220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168
 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Color Additives: FDA's Regulatory Process and Historical Perspectives. Accessed 10/20/2011. http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ColorAdditives/RegulatoryProcessHistoricalPerspectives/default.htm
Top Medications Containing FD&C Yellow No. 5
- Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone Bitartrate 500 mg / 7.5 mg (Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Budeprion XL 300 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Bupropion Hydrochloride Extended Release (XL) 150 mg (Global Pharmaceuticals)
- Clarithromycin 500 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Cleocin Hydrochloride 150 mg (Pharmacia and Upjohn Company)
- Clindamycin Hydrochloride 150 mg (Greenstone Limited)
- Digoxin 125 mcg (0.125 mg) (Global Pharmaceuticals)
- Estradiol 2 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Levofloxacin 500 mg (Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited)
- Lisinopril 20 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Lisinopril 40 mg (Watson Pharmaceuticals)
- Methadone Hydrochloride (Dispersible) 40 mg (Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals)
- Oxcarbazepine 300 mg (Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.)
- Oxcarbazepine 150 mg (Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.)
- Paroxetine Hydrochloride 40 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Paroxetine Hydrochloride 10 mg (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA)
- Phendimetrazine Tartrate 35 mg (Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Prenatal Plus Prenatal Vitamin with Iron Fumarate (Akyma Pharmaceuticals)
- Primidone 250 mg (Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
- Promethazine HCl 12.5 mg (Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Inc.)