Corn Free Xyzal, Finally!

I just received an email from my compounding pharmacist out of the blue that he was able to order some Xyzal for me and that it’ll be in in two weeks! His timing couldn’t be better, as I am dealing with some pretty horrific seasonal allergies right now.

And that’s really all I had to say. I’m on something of an unofficial hiatus right now, taking a bit of a breather after a summer of intense preserving. Because I am allergic to pretty much every vegetable that grows between October and May, I had to spend June-September preserving enough food for one adult to eat for 7 months. That’s, um, a lot of food. No cheating and going to the grocery store- if it ain’t in my freezer or growing in a pot in my living room, I can’t eat it. Well, other than pears, apples, oranges, clams, and oysters. Those are the only foods I can get safe nearly year round.

But the details on that is for another post, when I’ve had a bit more time to rest and recover. Just wanted to share my victory! If you’re still trying to find corn-free non-drowsy antihistamines, just know that it IS possible!

Preventing and Treating Allergic Reactions:

How I Treat Reactions

Updated 12/2017:  I’ve edited this a bit to be more generalized because my specific methods have had to change due to my MCAS and G6PDD. 

Obviously I do my best to make safe decisions and not react. That’s what this blog is all about. But there are circumstances out of my control pretty often, especially since I have dangerous reactions to airborne corn, and honestly yeah, I do just screw up. My diet is pretty limited right now so I *have* to try new things. I am usually very careful and when a food fails I only deal with a very mild reaction before I call it quits, but sometimes I mess up, and sometimes the food is SO corny that trying only small amount causes a major reaction.

Here are some general things to try if you do react. This is loosely based on The Mastocytosis Society protocol, which even though it is for mast cell disease, can easily be applied to “regular” allergic reactions as well.

Note that all of my medications need to be compounded. This is due to corn derivatives found in many premade medications. Manufacturers and pharmacies may say that these derivatives cannot cause a corn reaction because the “proteins have been processed out”, but it has been demonstrated by those with corn allergies over and over that they DO react to these derivatives. Further, cross contamination during manufacture can cause an issue for the most sensitive even if the ingredients themselves are not sourced from corn. Add in multiple sensitivities, and you will probably have a very hard time with most excipients and inactive ingredients in medications. Here’s more info on how to find out the inactive ingredients in your meds.

The “magic formula” for treating reactions is:

  • An H1 antihistamine.  First generation antihistamines such as benadryl, or hydroxyzine would be the best bet for a strong reaction or a reaction involving neurological or mood changes, since these cross the blood-brainb arrier.  Typical is 25-50 mg for both. The max dose for hydroxyzine is higher than benadryl, but benadryl has some qualities that make it the prime choice for a reaction if it can be tolerated. More information on getting corn-free benadryl. Second generation antihistamines such as ceterizine (zyrtec), levocetirizine (xyzal), fexofenadine (allegra) may be a good choice for a less strong reaction
  • An H2 inhibitor, such as ranitidine (zantac) or famotidine (pepcid). This increases the effectiveness of the H1.
  • A mast cell stabillizer, such as cromolyn sodium or quercetin.  This *may* help prevent rebound reactions.
  • A steroid, such as methylprednisolone, prednisone, or dexmethasone. These should be used rarely and sparingly as side effects such as Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome are a very real risk with steroid use.

Important: If you are having an anaphylactic reaction, simply taking these meds is not enough.  No antihistamine will stop anaphylaxis once it starts. The only thing that treats anaphylaxis is epinephrine. It is common hospital practice to adminster benadryl and “wait and see,” but this is NOT the correct treatment and can and has led to deaths.

If you are in doubt, epi. If you epi, always go to the hospital. 

Mayo Clinic Article on how to treat anaphylaxis


Manitoba, Canada public health department info in treating anaphylaxis

A Simple handout on how to recognize and treat anaphylaxis

An overview of the effects of anaphylaxis on the body

Rebound Reactions

When you have an allergic reaction, your body is flooded with histamines which run around creating inflammation all over your body. The actual symptoms of the reactions are due to your various cells’ response to the histamine. Antihistamines like benadryl simply block the receptors on your various cells that would notice and respond to the histamine. That means that when they wear off, if there is still histamine in your system, your cells will start responding again. This is known as a rebound.

I don’t have any scientific evidence of this, but it seems logical that a mast cell stabilizer may help to reduce the chance of a rebound reaction. Mast cell stabilizers actually help prevent the release of histamine in the first place, which *should* help prevent rebound reactions as the antihistamines wear off. I have noticed that it helps me.

Detoxing

After a reaction it will usually take me at least a day to recover, sometimes up to 10 days if it was a bad one. If I had to epi and go to the ER, I could be toxxed out for *weeks*. My tongue will burn every time I eat something and I will just feel like I’m mild-to-medium reacting constantly, or about to react. I call it “feeling full-buckety.” There’s no real cure for this other than time and lots of water, but there are a few things I do to help move the toxins out of my system faster.

How I Detox After A Reaction

  •  Bentonite clay baths or foot soaks in clay from Living Clay Company. I have only tried the pure bentonite clay (sold as the “detox clay powder”) and not any other products. I am on their mailing list and wait until they have free shipping promotions and then order large quantities at a time. I rarely have time for a full bath but I find that the foot soaks are 80% as effective as a full bath and easy to do often.
  • Bentonite Clay taken internally, with LOTS of water, to help absorb toxins/allergens and move them through the system faster.  I find this works better than activated charcoal at detoxing after a reaction, but I am mentioning both options.
  • Activated Charcoal, taken internally, for the same purpose as the bentonite clay. Again, lots of water to flush it through your system!  I am no longer recommending a specific brand of activated charcoal because the manufacturers keep changing what they do. You’ll need to do some research and find something that works for you.
  • Epsom salt baths and foot soaks- I am sulfur sensitive so I don’t do this anymore but it does help many. Dr Teal’s  unscented epsom salts are available at Kroger, Costco, Target, and on Amazon, and are safe for most.

A Note on Prevention

As i mentioned, antihistamines block the receptors that stimulate your mast cells to release histamines. Therefore blocking those receptors does not reduce the histamines already in your system, nor does it stop the inflammatory processes already happening from histamines that have already found a cell to stimulate. Thus it is better used to *prevent* reactions. Obviously avoiding triggers is the best bet, but something else I do is to take both antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers in advance when I know I am going into a dicey situation. Now, I don’t mean that I take antihistamines and then eat something bad. That’s stupid and dangerous. I just mean that if I think I am going somewhere where I could have an airborne exposure, (like Costco on a weekend when all the food samples are out)  or if I am in a situation where small children will be climbing all over me and possibly trying to stick hands and objects in my mouth, I take some appropriate precautions.

Before I go in to a potentially allergenic situation, I take:

  • 5 mg levocetrizine (xyzal)
  • 150mg zantac

I can still take up to 100mg of hydroxyzine on top of this. (It’s very sedating so I stick with 50mg or less typically). I avoid benadryl due to g6pdd one could also take up to 50mg of benadryl as well.

A Note on Zantac: Antacids to treat allergic reactions??!

When I have gone to the ER for an allergic reaction, they have given me two intravenous injections: Benadryl (diphenhydramine), and Zantac (ranitidine). The first time I got an injection of Zantac, I was totally confused. Isn’t that a medication for acid reflux?

Well, yes it is, but the mechanism by which it does that is by blocking (antagonizing) histamine receptors.  Compare to proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec (omeprazole).  Prilosec actually stops the production of stomach acid, while Zantac stops the signals for gastric acid secretion *and* allergic reactions from being noticed.

H1 and H2 blockers taken together are significantly more effective in treating an allergic reaction than either one taken on their own. 

Because of this, a number of folks with anaphylactic food allergies take a daily preventative H1 and H2 blocker.  I’m one of them. I don’t hope to be on this kind of medication for the rest of my life. For one thing, H2 blockers have a number of effects on vitamin and mineral absorption over the long timer, including interfering with absorption of vitamin B12. Also, taking drugs just masks symptoms, and I’d much rather find the cause of the problem and heal. But I’m totally okay with doing it right now to reduce the possibility of a life-threatening reaction.

Daily Medications- when you can’t avoid your allergens

I encourage you to avoid all of the allergens you can avoid. But if you can’t, such as if your allergens are in the air, it may be wise to take medication daily to help reduce the possibility of a severe/anaphylactic reaction from an unexpected exposure.

Typical daily allergy meds are:

  • A non-drowsy H1 antihistamine such as levocetirizine (xyzal), cetirizine (zyrtec), fexofenadine (allegra), or loratadine (claritin). In many cases, you can actually safely take more than the label recommended amount of these meds. Check with your pharmacist.
  • An h2 antihistamine such as ranitidine (zantac) or famotidine (pepcid).
  • A mast cell stabilizer such as quercetin, nettle, or cromolyn sodium.

The only pharmaceutical medication I currently use daily is a prescription mast cell stabilizer, antihistamine, and leukotrine inhibiter called ketotifen fumarate. It helps me so much that I’ve quit taking the cromolyn and don’t need any other daily antihistamines. Ketotifen does have some side effects, including sedation and weight gain, so it is not a first choice medication for me for those reasons. However it has really allowed me  more freedom to exist in the world without fearing for my life from a reaction to what someone else decides to eat or wear.

During heavy environmental allergy season, I also take:

  • 10mg levocetirizine (xyzal), compounded in a gelatin capsule daily.
  • 150mg ranitidine, compounded in a gelatin capsule, no filler, twice daily

If I am traveling or know I will be exposed to a lot of triggers, I go ahead and take a prophylactic hydroxyzine in the morning and at night. The hydroxyzine is compounded and I take 25mg at the same time as the ranitidine, morning and night.  More if needed. More on what I do when I travel.

About getting Xyzal compounded.

Where’s the Corn in Medical Supplies and Equipment?

Last updated:February 2017

This research was originally done by the creator of the blog called Hidden Corn. This blog is no longer maintained as the author  was no longer keeping up on the newest developments. I wanted it to remain available for people, so I took the data over and am soliciting help from a trusted friend to keep it up to date. We are making changes and additions as we note missing or outdated information.  Please comment or email me at cornallergygirl@gmail.com  if you see anything that is incorrect, or any broken links.

Do your legwork, people! Do it BEFORE you need medical care. And do your darndest to ensure you have someone who will advocate for you in those medical situations in which you are unable to advocate for yourself — this should be someone who is not timid about questioning medical care providers and who knows (for example) you need a saline IV rather than a glucose or dextrose IV and so forth.

ADHESIVES: Many corn allergics react to adhesives. I’m missing a source on why this is, but it’s been reported many times. If you need to avoid adhesives don’t claim it’s due to corn allergy, simply say that you have an adverse reaction to many adhesives.

ANTIBIOTICS: Corn is almost always the growth medium. There isn’t any avoiding this. If you need antibiotics, you’ll have to simply medicate to avoid a severe reaction.  Typical pre-medication would be an H1 antihistamine such as benadryl, an H2 antihistamine such as zantac or pepcid, and perhaps a prophylactic steroid. (Make sure you have corn free versions of all these!)  When taking any medication, you need to determine what the inactive ingredients are and from what they’re derived to choose something that is as corn-free as possible.  If you have time, it may be best to have your medications compounded to be as corn free as possible. Another option may be to use the intravenous version and that has a corn free ingredients list. Cross reference with the corn derivatives list  Keep in mind that even if the ingredients “look safe” you may still react to consider asking to trial a small amount of the medication before doing a full dose.

BODY BAGS: Can be made from corn. (source: Corn-Free Lifestyle)

BLOOD BAGS/BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS: Contain corn-based anticoagulants, specifically dextrose and citric acid. (2) If you need a blood transfusion, you need to medicate with a steroid, an h1 antihistamine such as benadryl, and an h2 anithistamine such as zantac or pepcid.  More info on premedication in my Hospital Safety post.

BLOOD PRESSURE CUFFS: Some folks report skin reactions due to the sanitizers used on these between patients. Bring the sleeve of an old t-shirt to put between you and the cuff if you have the presence of mind or have them take your BP over your shirt if you have sleeves on.

CT SCAN CONTRAST: The contrast solution, if flavored, will probably contain corn derivatives. Look for a contrast with the least amount of ingredients possible (will probably be unflavored), to be mixed in plain water. Ingredients should also be checked for IV contrasts. Note: reactions to CT contrast are common even in people without allergies, so radiologists may be more likely to understand concerns about reactions and have a protocol should you react.

DENTAL VISITS:  Pretty much all of the products used at a dental visit can be corny, from the medications and products themselves to the paper and gloves used for sanitation. Dental health is very important though, and many many corn allergics have managed safe dental care.  More on corn free dental care: Corn Allergy Safety at the Dentist.

HAND SANITIZER: Almost all hand sanitizer contains ethanol from corn, and even not very sensitive people will have airborne reactions to corn-derived ethanol. Hand sanitizers also frequently contain scents which can be a concern for corn or chemical sensitivity. They will also contain inactive ingredients  that are often from corn such as glycerin that may cause a contact reaction if someone touches you after using it.  If staff insists on using hand sanitizer near you ask them to wear (powder free) gloves afterwards.

HAND SOAP: Almost all liquid hand soaps contain glycerin which may be from corn as well as citric acid and other ingredients commonly derived from corn. If you are skin-reactive, you may have a contact reaction to someone touching you who has used these soaps, or if you are highly airborne reactive you may have issues breathing near someone who has used them. Here is one example ingredients list from an antimicrobial soap used in surgical settings.

GLOVES: Powdered surgical and exam gloves are often powdered with corn starch. Effective Jan 19, 2017 the US FDA has banned the sale and use of powdered surgical and exam gloves, so that’s good news for us corn allergy sufferers. It make take some time for full compliance, and non-medical settings may still make use of them.

INTRAVENOUS SOLUTIONS: Lactated Ringers’ solution contains sodium lactate, which is made from lactic acid. Lactic acid isn’t *always* fermented on corn sugar but several of the major distributors of the product do use corn sugar. Given the volume of production of sodium lactate for medical purposes I doubt there’d be a way to know for sure which supplier the lactic acid came from. Additionally dextrose/glucose is often added to intravenous solutions and injectables. Ask for a saline IV fluid.  If you are inpatient, consider making signs to hang on the IV stand stating no lactated ringers and no dextrose as nurses will not always check your charts at shift change or will mix you up with other patients. Realize that the nurses may still not read the IV stand and remind them. Train an advocate such as a family member or close friend before you need one to help remind them!

NON-MEDICINAL INGREDIENTS aka Preservatives and Excipients: Go HERE to read an excellent article about corn derivatives used in non-medicinal ingredients. The article was in the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia’s May/June 2007 newsletter; it may be an older newsletter, but the information is still extremely applicable!

MEDICATIONS: Inactive ingredients of pills, injections, and topical products may contain corn. Get package inserts and compare the active and inactive ingredients with the corn derivative list. Finding the Inactive Ingredients of Medications.  In many cases you may need to have a medication custom made to be corn free. This is called “compounding.” Getting Medications Compounded. Finding a Compounding Pharmacy.

PREFILLED SALINE FLUSHES for IV lines and catheters contain a preservative. Staff needs to get a vial of plain saline and draw it into a syringe and use that to flush your line.

SANITIZERS: I don’t have a source on why anti-microbial floor and surface cleaners in hospitals seem to be a concern for people who are airborne reactive to corn, but reports from the corn allergy community, and my personal experience show that they are. Some contain ethanol from corn, some don’t. It may be that corn allergics are often also chemically sensitive. All I know is that even when I can’t smell any cleaners in hospitals, I react the entire time I’m inside on just from breathing the air, and many other airborne-reactive corn allergics experience the same. I wear a carbon filter mask, and if in-patient, ask for them to only mop the floor in my room with water. I also bring in a HEPA filter for my room and run that and put a sign on the door to keep the door closed at all times, even if just coming in for a second.

SUTURES: Absorbable sutures may be made from PLA or polylactic acid, which is frequently made from corn.  I am told some non-dissolvable sutures may be dusted with corn starch, although I have no source to prove this. I have also heard reports of those with corn allergies reacting to sutures that should be corn-free, so exercise caution.

SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS: If you are attempting to determine the source of an ingredient and are told it’s “synthetic,” don’t let that be the end of the line in your questioning or you will be taking a risk that your medication might contain a corny ingredient. See if you can find out which raw ingredients are used in the chemical process that creates the synthetic ingredient.

TUBING FOR OXYGEN MASKS: You may react, I don’t know if this is  corn starch dusting or what. Ask to have them wiped or rinsed with water.

TONGUE DEPRESSORS: Can be made from corn. (source: Corn-Free Lifestyle)

Treating Allergic Reactions: Corn-free Benadryl

The go-to drug for treating a severe allergic reaction is diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl.  Unfortunately, there is no corn-free version of this drug available off the shelf. Benadryl dye-free liquigels contain sorbitol from corn. Benadryl children’s liquid formula contains glycerin and sucrose from corn. Many generic store-brand versions of Benadryl, such as Wal-dryl, contain corn starch.  All of these are derivatives that would send me to the hospital, especially if I were already reacting when I took them.

The only way to get truly corn-free Benadryl at this time is to get it made specially for you by a compounding pharmacy. This isn’t a post on how to do that, but there is a very nice blog post on getting medications compounded on the News For Corn Avoiders blog. Here are my additional notes on compounding medications and here is some advice on finding a compounding pharmacy.

Another possibility, though it requires a prescription, would be to get a prescription for an injectable version of Benadryl, and then drink it.This is an off-label usage but I am told it works just fine and will be relatively corn free. (It is in water though so if you react to some waters it may not be 100% safe for you.) Always check ingredients. There are probably several versions of the injectable Benadryl and all of them may not be corn free.

When I got my first Benadryl prescription compounded, I spent 30 minutes on the phone with the pharmacist deciding on ingredients used in my prescription. The pharmacist assured me that the microcrystalline cellulose they used for a filler in capsules was corn free. It was not. I got $50 worth of pills I reacted to worse than the corny off the shelf meds, and they wouldn’t take them back or give me my money back. I had very very recently gotten much more sensitive to corn products at that time, and was reacting constantly so feeling very sick and muddled while trying to hold down a full time job, and just did not have the mental energy to get it done right. I just gave up on getting medications compounded.

But I had to have something for reactions. Fortunately, I was still able to take one version of over the counter Benadryl and have it do more good than harm. While I am not *the most* sensitive corn allergic person in the world, I am pretty sensitive, and my reactions are pretty dramatic. However there are some derivatives I react to less than others.

This stuff has *lots* of corn ingredients, but for me the derivatives are ones that don’t cause huge reactions:

Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy. Active ingredient: diphenhydramine hcl 25mg. Inactive ingredients:  croscarmellose sodium, D&C red #27 aluminum lake, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide.

I also found this”sleep aid” which is actually benadryl- the inactive ingredient, diphenhydramine, and the dosage, 25mg, is the same ingredient and dosage as benadryl.

Walgreens Sleep II Nightime Sleep Aid. Active ingredient: diphenhydramine hcl 25mg. Inactive Ingredients: Croscarmellose Sodium, Dicalcium Phosphate, FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake, Magnesium Stearate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Stearic Acid


Both of these products still have  a number of ingredients that could be (and often are) from corn. I’ve bolded them. They are definitely *not* corn free. It is the same drug as Benadryl, just a different brand. When I was VERY desperate, I was able to take them for reactions and they helped more than they harmed. I would definitely feel some reaction right when I took them, but once they kicked in the antihistamine effect would overtake the reaction. 

Getting compounded Benadryl made a world of difference though- it works faster and leaves me feeling much less hung over. A good portion of the effectiveness of the drug was previously being spent on counteracting the corn in the pills themselves.

But if you are ever in a very bad spot, you may find that there are some versions of the drug off the shelf that you can tolerate enough to help you out when you are reacting severely.

Note that which version will work best for you will depend heavily on what derivatives bug you. The liquigels contain sorbitol, so are a bad choice for me as sorbitol in toothpaste sent me to the ER once. Granted the quantity in the liquigels is probably small but I just skipped it because of the toothpaste reaction. Others may do better with that tiny amount of sorbitol versus the inactive ingredients in the product pictured above. Please choose carefully, use good sense, and consult your physician.

For those that are allergic to benadryl (this does happen), another option is hydroxyzine hcl (atarax) or hydroxyzine pamoate (vistaril). Atarax is more commonly prescribed for allergies, Vistaril is more commonly prescriped for anxiety. Both forms help both allergy and anxiety. They also are comparably as strong of antihistamines as benadryl. They do tend to sedate more then benadryl, but not everyone experiences this.  Hydroxyzine is prescription only. You would need to either get it compounded or identify a brand and manufacturer that does not contain corn, or does not contain *much* corn. You can use these instructions for finding the inactive ingredients of medications to try to identify something that might be safe.

Corn Free Antibiotics

There is no such thing as a 100% corn free antibiotic. BUT, if you have an infection and need a safe-ish antibiotic right now, here are some possible options:

Rocephin (Ceftriaxone) Injection

Many corn allergic folks have had success with a rocephin injection. I have never personally done this, but here is the package insert. It looks like it can be prepared in water or in ethanol. Ethanol is corn alcohol, so request that the solution be in water, and double-check the package insert in the office to be sure that the inactive ingredients look safe. (Cross reference with the corn allergens list.)

Additionally the rocephin injection is often combined with a numbing agent, lidocaine, which can be skipped. Preservative free lidocaine (Xylocaine is one brand) can be corn free but you will need to check package inserts, not all clinics have the corn free version in stock.

There may also be other injections that could be safe. Check using these resources: how to find inactive ingredients of medications.

Update 2015: I personally have gotten this injection… There are a few different brands but basically I got a Ceftriaxone injection that was a powder with only the active ingredient. My doc mixed it only with distilled water. It hurt a LOT. I am a grown up with a fairly high pain tolerance, and I was crying a little.  I did have a mild/moderate reaction from it that passed within 3 hours, and I believe it was a corn reaction from the growth medium, but I don’t really know. I recommend pre-treating with any safe antihistamines you have before getting the injection.

Zithromax Brand

The Zithromax brand, 600 & 250mg,  are very corn lite.  Not corn free, but I’d take them in a pinch. The generics all seem to have corn starch, so brand name only.

Cephalexin

There are many corn-lite formulations of cephalexin.

Here’s a list of all the formulations of cephalexin and their inactive ingredients. Depending on sensitivity, you may be able to get away with taking one that just has as few ingredients as possible and no corn starch.

If you need pills and can’t tolerate potentially corny derivatives, you will need to have your antibiotics compounded. Here’s some good advice on how to do that. 

Note that much like probiotics, antibiotics are not 100% corn free just due to what they are. They are a product of microbes and are almost always grown on a medium containing corn sugar.

So with that in mind, I would avoid antibiotics as much as possible, opting for natural remedies as much as you possibly can. But sometimes you have no other choice, and when that’s the case, be aware that even if you get the “cleanest” antibiotic you can get your hands on, you will still be getting some corn, and prepare yourself accordingly.

Corn Allergy Safety At the Dentist

I just got back from my first corn-free dental cleaning, and no reactions! My last dental cleaning was a bit over 6 months ago, and two weeks after that visit, I had a Tom’s of Maine toothpaste that contained corn-derived sorbitol send me to the hospital. As you can imagine, I pushed back my upcoming appointments for fillings so that I could figure out how to get them without landing in the hospital. Fortunately the office manager at my Seattle-area dentist is just a wonderful human being, and was able to help me navigate this successfully. Our process was convoluted, but we eventually got to the right place for my specific needs. However, if I had to do this all over again, this is what I would have her do:

  1.  Get a list of all products that could be used during a dental cleaning, filling, or root canal. This includes gloves, cotton or gauze, paper bibs, and other “incidental” products, as well as products that are also directly used in your mouth, on your lips, or injected.
  2.  Get the package insert/MSDS for each. Make photocopies and just hand me the sheaf of them to go over.
  3.  Study up each of the products on my own, using google/the Corn Allergens list, and questions to the Facebook Corn Allergy and Intolerance group or the Delphi Avoiding Corn Forums to determine what should be safe.
  4.  Return with a list of approved items to use. And a gift to show my appreciation.
  5. Show up on the day of my appointment with an instruction sheet to remind them of what should and shouldn’t be used, and what to do if a reaction occurs.

Following is a list of the possible places to check for corn at the dentist. This list is written with the most sensitive in mind, including those who react to water treatment chemicals, so not all may apply to you:

  • The “bib” put around your neck could be dusted in corn starch. Bring your own cloth towel.
  • Water for rinsing or swishing. Water could be filtered through a corny filter or include corny softener salts. Additionally an additive is sometimes used to help plaque rinse away better, which could be corny. Bring your own safe water and rinse and swish with that.
  • Sonic cleaning devices which spray continuous water. Find out where the water comes from and if you are in doubt, ask for the “old school” polish and scraping tools to be used.
  • Chapstick or vaseline on  used during a procedure to keep lips from cracking. Bring your own safe.
  • Mouthwash. Skip or bring your own.
  • Dentifrice/tooth polish. Skip or bring your own. I use bentonite clay from living clay co for tooth polish.
  • Sanitizer used on tools will be corn derived. Wash and rinse them in safe soap and water. This includes the cup that holds the dentifrice during a cleaning- I kept having a mild reaction until we realized that and rinsed the prophy cup.
  • Floss- the wax can be corny. Bring your own.
  • Cups/containers for water and other supplies, including the cup that tooth polish is kept in. Bring your own containers or ask that the containers they use be rinsed first.
  • Gloves- can be dusted with corn starch. Make sure they use unpowdered.
  • Numbing injections- inactive ingredients can contain corn, usually dextrose. Check inactive ingredients.
  • Filling adhesive.
  • Dissolvable sutures are corny. Use the non-dissolvable and have them rinsed before use.
  • Xrays: Film or covering over the receiver if digital. If you tolerate any plastic bags such as ziploc brand, bring those along to cover anything being placed inside your mouth if possible.
  • Intravenous solution: Lactated ringers and dextrse are corny. Request saline only.
  • Topical numbing agents: Skip them entirely, they are pretty much all corny.

Numbing Injections

Carbocaine is the “standard” that most corn allergy folks have used, but there are other possibly safe injections. Septocaine and Zorcaine have been used by many but may cause issues for those with sulfa allergies. Preservative free lidocaine, both with and without epinephrine, has been used safely as well. In all cases, check the package insert and compare the ingredients against the corn allergens list before using.


Here are my instructions for a dental cleaning. You will need to personalize to yourself, especially the second half, but it’s a good place to start. 

Here is the last instruction sheet I used for a filling.

Things that could be problematic but are notably NOT covered in my instructions: airborne contact with perfumes, fabric softeners, etc, and the bite contact sheet they use after a filling to see if your teeth are coming together right. I did not check the MSDS on that sheet, just let them use it.

Corn Free Birth Control

BIG HUGE TMI WARNING

I am discussing birth control options for a corn allergy. I don’t reaalllly get that detailed, but if you don’t want to be reading about birth control, um, don’t keep reading.

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