Make Sure Your Medications Are Gluten-Free - dummies

Make Sure Your Medications Are Gluten-Free

By Nancy McEachern

Gluten may be in medicine, vitamins, and herbal supplements, too! Finding out the source of each ingredient in medications is much more difficult than reading food labels because different regulations apply to different products and because the source of some ingredients is unclear.

Some companies are beginning to label over-the-counter liquids and pills as gluten-free because more consumers are now looking for that information. And some companies list the gluten-free status of supplements, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription medicines on their websites.

Many, if not most, medications do not contain gluten, but if you become sick from a little gluten, it’s important to confirm that pills you may be taking daily aren’t going to trigger your gluten-related symptoms.

Look out specifically for starch, wheat, flour, or malt listed as an ingredient, especially in herbal and vitamin supplements that may use gluten as a binder and filler. In addition, Vitamin E can be derived from wheat.

Here are some credible resources for finding out whether a medication is gluten-free:

  • A shopping guidebook such as Cecelia’s Marketplace Gluten-Free Shopping Guide by Matison and Matison

  • Gluten-free apps, including ScanAvert

  • A prescription website such as Gluten Free Drugs

  • FDA package inserts (which are often online as well)

  • Drug company websites

  • Pharmacists

Be sure to ask your pharmacist to make a note in your file that you’re gluten-free.