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March 25, 2013

Being Gluten Free And Taking Medication

There's been a lot of talk and a lot of terrible stories lately about medication and getting glutened. From someone that takes many different types of medicine multiple times throughout my day, this immediately caught my attention. I ended up finding out that gluten is very well capable of being in medicine and found out that in some medications, there actually is gluten added to it. I know this is something very serious that many people may not have really thought about before. I for one have really never considered it until recently, and it's terrifying to think that the very thing that's meant to be keeping me alive and well, could actually be making me very sick. I wanted to hopefully share my thoughts on this topic but also provide a list of the medications that are gluten-free to keep you safe. Hopefully this can be of help to you!


Why It Scared me:
When it comes to me and my Adrenal Disorder, trying to do everything I can to feel normal each day is my #1 priority. There are so many things I've thought about and considered each day that may be affecting my health. From food, water, sunlight, exercise, time I wake up, time I go to sleep, etc. I've pretty much thought of it all. But the one thing I have never considered was the one thing that affects how I feel most..my medicine. The medicine I take each day is what's allowing me to even be alive. Without it I would be dead and without it I wouldn't be here today.

To think that the very thing that is supposed to be keeping me alive could very well be getting me sick and killing me..terrified me. I was terrified that this was part of the problem I've been dealing with this whole time and terrified to think there would possibly be no solution. I had to look into it more to luckily find out this was not my problem. My medicine did not contain gluten and this was something I would never have to worry about. But it got me thinking, what if it did contain gluten? What if someone else goes through what I did and turned out not to be so fortunate. I know this is a very unlikely scenario but I really couldn't help and think about this possibly happening to someone else..I'm just thankful it wasn't me.


Gluten Free Medication List: (Prescription & Over the Counter)

Antibiotics
  • Biaxin
  • Cipro
  • Diflucan
  • Flagyl
  • Keflex
  • Zithromax.

Cold and Allergy
  • Allergra
  • Chlortrimetron
  • Clarinex,
  • Dayquil
  • Excedrin Extra Strength
  • Hall's Cough Drops (sugar free only)
  • Robitussin
  • Simply Stuffy
  • Tavist
  • TheraFlu
  • Tylenol Sinus Severe 
  • Vick's.
  • Zyrtec

Gastrointestinal
  • Alka Seltzer Plus
  • Gas X
  • Extra Strength with Maalox, Imodium
  • Lactaid
  • Maalox
  • Mylanta
  • Pepcid
  • Pepto Bismal
  • Philips Original Milk of Mangesia
  • Prilosec
  • Tums (Ultra, Regular and EX).

Pain Killers
  • Celebrex
  • Demerol
  • Percocet
  • Vicodin
  • Vioxx

Pain Relievers
  • Advil (Advil Liqui-Gels® and Advil Migraine® are NOT gluten-free)
  • Aleve
  • Excedrin Migraine
  • Motrin
  • St.Joseph's Aspirin
  • Tylenol and Tylenol PM.

Miscellaneous
  • Carlson Vitamins
  • Vitamin Shoppe products
  • Dramamine
  • Nicorette
  • No Doz 
  • Simply Sleep


Why It's Serious:
Think about this, you're suffering from a cold or a migraine and all you want to do is get better. Obviously some of these things we take medicine for can come from the reactions we get to gluten. (Headaches, stomach pain, run down immune system, etc.) If you've already been glutened or are already suffering from a reaction in some way..imagine what adding more gluten to your system is going to do. Your body is going to get run down and your are definitely going to feel worse. Basically how I look at it is you're just adding fuel to the fire. And if you or any other person is unaware of the gluten in the medication you're taking, you may never know what the cause of you're illness is in the first place. The worst possible scenario is if you continue to take more and more medicine thinking it's going to make you feel better, but in reality it's what's causing you to feel worse. No matter what medicine you take, ALWAYS make sure to ask your doctor just in case. You never know what can come from taking medicine with gluten..most likely a trip to the hospital and that's the last thing anyone needs.

Note: Please share this with anyone that you feel would benefit from it to make sure the medicine they are taking is gluten-free. If there are any drugs that are not on this list that you are worried about, please let me know and I will get back to you. Thanks!

18 comments:

Kim T said...

This is so helpful!! Thanks for taking the time to research, whew ... great info!

Taylor Miller said...

No problem! I felt like it was really important info for people to know so it was worth the time. Glad it helped you!

Tara aka Bunny said...

You are amazing! Thanks for spreading the word on this. Did you run across Singulair in your studies? I take that at night for my allergies but I am still stuffy most days. Stuffy head is one of MY personal gluten issues.

Taylor Miller said...

Thanks Tara! I just looked up the Singulair and the 10 mg tablets to have lactose in them. So maybe if you get reactions to dairy that could be it. I also saw people have been getting a reaction from it as well. Here's more on it if you're interested.. http://www.news-medical.net/drugs/Singulair.aspx

Anonymous said...

Hi there, what about Panadol tables and syrups for kids?

MNChileMom said...

I've noticed gluten in some generic products versus brand names, which is frustrating when you're on a budget. It's so important to keep reading labels on everything that you put into your body!

Taylor Miller said...

I'm not sure about the syrups or tablets but I can look them up! And I know, MNChileMom, gluten can be hidden in anything! Super important to read all labels.

Unknown said...

Yes that list is greatly reduced if you are also dairy free. They put Lactose in so many medications it's crazy!

MNChileMom said...

I found another site at: http://www.glutenfreedrugs.com/list.htm that has a long list of gluten free drugs. The other thing that we can do is to make sure that our pharmacy has on record that we're allergic or sensitive to gluten. But I still always check the ingredients. One example from my previous comment is Mucinex - the brand product is gluten-free, but the generic products have gluten in them (Walgreens brand, last I looked). That's a shame since generic products are so much cheaper.

Chante Haney said...

I take divalproex sodium (depakote) 250mg for my epilepsy, and flexeril for my muscle disease. Do you know if these are gf?

Cyn Rogalski said...

I get 'glutened' symptoms from ain med Diclophenac(generic for Voltaren tablets), but can use the Voltaren gel on my arthritic knees. I am diabetic, but react violently to Metformin(name brand & generic).

My pharmacist swears there is no gluten in Rxs. Can't wait to show her this! TY!

Anonymous said...

have you read anything about Migreleif containing gluten? What about Relpax? I take both for migraines. Thank you. Good to know about the Advil liquid gels - I will stop using those.

Mary McLennan said...

Hi Taylor ... assuming Advil Cold & Sinus is okay as you didn't specify it under the Advil category ... although I didn't see it listed under the "Cold and Allergy" category ... that's the only thing that works on my sinus infections and I haven't seemed to react to those ...

Anonymous said...

The problem with a list like this one is that it is out of date almost as soon as it's posted. Formulations and drug companies change constantly. Here is a site that my pharmacist put me onto recently:
http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/about.cfm

You type the name of your med. in the search box (either brand or generic name), and it will give you a list of all companies that make that drug. Pick the one that makes your medication and click on it. You'll get a comprehensive page on that particular brand of the drug, with lots of tabs at the top. Click on the tab that says "Patient Info" and scroll to the bottom of that page, where you can view all active and inactive ingredients clearly listed.

Anonymous said...

so the list you made is gluten free medicines

Anonymous said...

I too take divalproex, was wondering this myself.

Anonymous said...

What about multivitamins, iron pills? What brands are ok. I'm new to having celiac. I'm also lactose intolerant an anemic.

sc'Que? said...

TO ANONYMOUS: What part of *this is a blog by a teenage guy with Adrenal disease, Celiac and specialised Tachychardia* made you think it appropriate to ask him whether *your medication* that's *specific to your illness* would contain gluten? These are questions you ask your doctor or your pharmacist. (If they don't know, then find another doctor or pharmacist.)

TAYLOR: For me, the problem I always run into when researching this stuff is that, firstly, I don't tend to take pharm unless I'm on my last leg: I prefer to just stick it out and save the money. But on those rare occasions when I buckle, I go online to find which varieties of which brand are acceptible. And of course the list is exhaustive, not something one can easily remember. So I write down three of the most well-known brands--since those are usually going to be what's available, right?--and I get to the store and find every variety available from that company except the labels that are known to be GF. (WtF?!)

Anyway, your concern is poignant and IMO part of a larger symptom in the pharm industry. I think if they just changed their paradigm for distribution away from "convenient packaging" they wouldn't need a lot of the stabilizers they use to make things need and tidy. Needle-free drug injection used to be a thing of science fiction, but is actually a reality, and yet we're not embracing it as a more efficient means of administering medication.

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