If your physician has prescribed you a gluten-free diet, you need to be aware that many medications are not gluten-free. Vitamins, tablets, capsules and liquid medications may all contain gluten. Gluten is added to medications because it is useful as a filler and as a substance that will either hold the medication together (a binder) or thicken it. You can also find gluten-containing ingredients being used to coat the pills, to mask the flavor or scent or as an ingredient that will increase the stability of the medication. If you have been prescribed a gluten-free diet, you should be aware that the gluten products contained in these medications could cause stomach irritation and other symptoms that you are trying to avoid.
Ask Your Pharmacist
If you are in doubt about any medication, inform your pharmacist of your special dietary need for gluten-free medications and ask the pharmacist about the entire list of ingredients that go into any of your medications. If you are buying drugs over-the-counter, read the entire label carefully so you can determine whether or not there is any gluten contained in the formula.
Typical Names of Gluten Products In Medications
Examples of the names for gluten ingredients that are used in the manufacture of medications include dextrates, dextrins, maltodextrins, pre-gelatinized starch and sodium starch glycolate. You will need to ask your pharmacist about any other possible names that are used for gluten-based ingredients in your prescribed and over-the-counter medications so that you can safely choose gluten-free medications.
Your dietary needs are just as important as your needs for medications and with your pharmacist’s help; you can avoid the numerous gluten products that are used in many medications. You’re best able to do this by becoming informed about the names that are used to identify the gluten in medications.
Despite the fact that many drug manufacturers use gluten ingredients in their formulas, there are also many drug manufacturers who are aware of the growing number of people who need to have gluten free-medications and there are many prescription and over the counter medications that do not use gluten products. Or, you may also choose to use an online resource, such as Kirkman Labs to obtain medications that are certified free of any allergens, including gluten.