Gluten in Medication
Gluten is a group of proteins found in grains, including wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. People may be sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, which is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, where a person’s immune system attacks gluten as well as the small intestine, which can cause a wide variety of serious health problems. People with celiac disease must follow a lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, rye, barley, and other foods that contain gluten.
Medications may contain gluten
Medications can also contain gluten, which may be used to bind pills together. There are currently no requirements for labeling gluten in medications, although legislation was introduced in 2019, that if passed, would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require gluten to be labeled in all medications.
Your pharmacist can help
It is important to let your pharmacist know that you are on a gluten-free diet. They can review every ingredient in your prescription medications to make sure your medications are gluten-free. In some cases, your pharmacist may be able to reformulate the medications into a gluten-free formulation.
For over-the-counter (OTC) medications, look at the “Drug Facts” label for a list of ingredients. You may also contact the manufacturer of your OTC or prescription medications to ask for a list of ingredients. Your pharmacist can help you if you have any questions.
For more information, visit GlutenFreeDrugs.com, which provides list of medications and their gluten status.