As a pharmacist, I am trained to understand the basic pharmacology of a medication (what it’s made of and how it works in your body). When you see the term active ingredient(s), this means the actual part of the medication that works to alleviate symptoms. Other parts of the medication may include the inactive ingredients – like a coating or liquid syrup, usually made from a solution of sugar – that affect how the medication tastes, looks, or where it dissolves.
Fred Eckel, RPh, MS
Emeritus, North Carolina Association of Pharmacists