Gluten Free Medications

gluten-free-medications

Now THIS is a gigantic pain in the ass. There is no current regulation on labeling gluten in medication and many times, the pharmacists won’t know. So you call the manufacturer, but even they don’t always know. Beyond frustrating.

The good folks at GlutenFreeDrugs.com are here to help. They keep an updated list of drugs that their research shows are gluten-free.

As always, if in doubt, call the manufacturer directly. Hopefully, we’ll get this regulated soon enough.

Until then…HERE IS THE LIST OF GLUTEN-FREE MEDICATIONS

Dude Note on 11/10/16: Looks like the glutenfreedrugs.com site is no longer active. That sucks big-time. I will see if I can find another resource. Until then…I wish you luck.


I have no advertising on this site and I plan on keeping it that way. If you'd like to say thanks for the efforts I put in to the celiac community, my TIP JAR is open. Thanks!

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49 Comments

  1. 1

    Tammy

    My daughter was prescribed Megace (generic Megestrol) to help with her appetite as she had lost a lot of weight (while dealing with gluten-intolerance symptoms and getting misdiagnosed and then ultimately diagnosed with Celiac). I noticed it’s not on your gluten-free drug list. Do you happen to know if it is/isn’t gluten free. We still can’t seem to get rid of all of her symptoms even after being gluten-free for nearly a year.

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Anna

      Try antihistamine it seemingly helped my daughter!

      Reply
      1. 1.1.1

        dee

        Q. Which antihistamines are GF?

        Reply
    2. 1.2

      dee

      Hi Tammy,
      I don’t know if it is legal in your state or how hold your daughter is, but marijuana helps many folks with appetite. Also, other foods, coffee, chocolate, fruit . . . make me have symptoms of CD. If she has not tried the “Whole 30” yet, I highly recommend it; I put on 25 of the 40 pounds I lost, although it took a year to do so. It’s been two years for me since going GF and I still cannot eat most foods, especially processed ones.

      Reply
  2. 2

    Michelle

    I contacted the makers of Imodium and they said they cannot guarantee any of their Imodium products because they do not test for gluten. :(

    Reply
  3. 3

    Meg

    This has got to be the most frustrating thing for me as someone who takes multiple medications to stay alive. I gave up onasking pharmacists about gluten when I learned they know literally nothing about gluten – one actually looked at the listed ingredients and stated “This is fine. Gluten isn’t listed as an ingredient.” Not his fault, it just isn’t considered important by much of the medical community unlike say, an allergy to peanuts.
    My pharmacy often changes manufacturers without notice for different medications and I am always stuck having to call the manufacturer every time. How is labeling for gluten in meds NOT A LAW?

    Reply
    1. 3.1

      Gluten Dude

      We’re too busy worrying about the Kardashians and what the latest D list celebrity is wearing today.

      Reply
      1. 3.1.1

        Barbara

        I agree with you! on. Separate note, please know that the Amoxicillin made by Sandoz DOES CONTAIN GLUTEN. We have just called the company (today is 2/20/2017) and they confirmed it to us.
        Your best option (confirmed with company as well) is going with the one made by West Ward. But the NDC # has to start with the following numbers: 0143-988. As long as it starts with these number, there is no gluten in it and no cross contamination issues. We found it at Target/CV Pharmacy. I wish these pharmacists were better trained and did their research better and more proactively… I had to make 5 phone calls to be on the safe side. Why can’t they have a list in there system that would save us all this frustration??

        Reply
        1. 3.1.1.1

          Susan Litman

          OMG–this is extremely helpful to know because I have taken that med on and off for a year for a recurring illness and have been assured it was GF!!! Argh. Another issue is that many pharmacies will now not “special order” anything that doesn’t come from one of their regular suppliers. I’ve tried googling to find GF meds for the two medications I take daily for migraines (because I suspect this is partly why I still show a moderate positive on my regular tests after a three year old diagnosis) and I’m constantly symptomatic) but I cannot locate a GF source for my meds–nor can I stop taking the. Help! I’m really desperate. :(

          Reply
    2. 3.2

      nancy lavin

      I go on Gluten Free Drugs.com yearly to check out the Gluten free drugs site. You can also get this on your phone. My wonderful pharmacist now does this for me and any other gluten free patients. This is Joe at Rite Aid. I also take the list to my Doctors and let them know of this. I have been in a good well known hospital and they knew nothing about this site. They thanked me for letting them know. This is the state we are in as celiacs It is a tough road to hoe
      now I’m am going to look up Gluten free generic drugs and see where i get.
      Your doctor must always write gluten free only when they write the scripts.

      Reply
      1. 3.2.1

        Jeanine

        Thank you so much for the information on this!

        Reply
  4. 4

    Mike

    does Cialis have gluten in it ?

    Reply
    1. 4.1

      Gluten Dude

      Hmmm…have you tried looking it UP? I know the answer is HARD to find. Ok…I’ll stop now.

      I’ve actually had this question before and the best I can tell you is that it should be. Both my pharmacy and the makers of the drug couldn’t give me a definitive answer though.

      Reply
      1. 4.1.1

        pippy longstocking

        I KNOW they can give you the answer, they just don’t want to. They do know what everything is in their product. I think it is total BS and lies on their part don’t you think? They are not stupid or ignorant. It is ALL a game to them; it is all about money, if they think they will lose any, they will hide what they must, till they are found out.

        OH BOY, did I ever wake on the wrong side of the bed today ;)

        Thanx GDude. Love your site.

        Reply
  5. 5

    pippy longstocking

    Maybe I should be in the rant section, but . . . I am a bit pissy this morning. I have had a migraine for three days and I am sick of it. I apologizes for my expletives.

    Is there a list of gfree otc drugs? I am sooo sick of attempting to read the (bad word) labels that are too (another bad word) small to read! As of today, January 2015, Aleve is not gfree, I called. I must say though, it was sooo nice of them to send me a bunch of coupons for things I cannot use (snarl)! How incredibly thoughtful (yes, sarcasm)! The woman I spoke with said she’d, “never thought of gluten being in pills”~~~ Really??? REEEELY???!!!! (breathe Pip, breath!)
    I am pretty tired of these big companies playing dumb. It would be nice if they would grow up, be adults, and step up to the plate. Can anyone imagine honesty amounst any of them without the LAW taking their big spanking paddle down from the sky and giving them a good old fashioned wollup? It is shameful imo.

    The laws needs to change. Would not everyone with CD agree that anything we put in our mouth or near our mouths, needs to be labeled?

    And as far as Big Pharm, I am pretty tired of their pretend ignorance. Someone please tell me, WHY were they let off the hook with the food labeling law? Like having this disease is one big effing (whoops sorry) joke to the medical community.

    It is not just about CD, it is about our entire food supply. How about those so called,”Natural flavors”? They even put them in ORGANIC foods! WTF! I am so tired of not being able to trust anything in the food supply. I am tired of being the experimental bunny. I did not give consent.

    Thanks for letting me rant in this area.

    Reply
  6. 6

    laila

    Iam looking for a multivitamin gluten free, since i have intolerance to gluten.

    Reply
    1. 6.1

      Jules

      I take Freeda Multis. The SCD ones to be specific. Great brand.

      Reply
    2. 6.2

      Amy

      Good news, a lot of vitamins/multivitamins have Gluten Free on the label. 😊

      Reply
    3. 6.3

      mary anne Mader

      Anyway has them!

      Reply
      1. 6.3.1

        Dee

        do you mean AMway?

        Reply
  7. 7

    jennwhite

    My daughter was just diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease ( Auto immune thyroid disease) and I have to rethink everything I have known about cooking, toothpaste, OTC Medications, basically anything that goes into my 15 year old daughters mouth. She can’t have anything with Gluten or Iodine. If anyone has any tips they can share, it would be most appreciated.

    Reply
    1. 7.1

      pippy longstocking

      lipsticks, balms, makeup . . . if she kisses her partner, that person will need to use gf products too.
      i was using a new hair product, i didn’t think about it till later, but I was pulling my hair in to a tail, could not wash my hands where i was, i then ate some nuts~~ glutened!

      Reply
    2. 7.2

      Jeanine

      Just learn got a sensitivity to Gultin. Got to change everything! Just sick about this!!

      Reply
  8. 8

    Tammy Thompson

    Hey Gluten LITTLE BOY,

    I think your rude, disrespectful, and have absolutely no business giving out advise to anyone. When helping others, it takes kindness and patience. You don’t have those qualities, or at least don’t demonstrate them.

    Please take this site down unless you want to be of value and help.

    Reply
    1. 8.1

      Gluten Dude

      “I’ll take it under advisement, jerkweed.” (Die Hard)

      Reply
      1. 8.1.1

        Patty

        Dear Mr. Dude,
        Love you.
        ~Gentle Reader

        Reply
    2. 8.2

      pippy longstocking

      G D has always been polite, respectful, and most of all, honest. He “demonstrates kindness and patience” as well, which is far more then I can say for you right now.
      How about you take your vitriol somewhere else. This site is for celiacs and gluten issues, not personal ones.
      I hope you feel better soon.

      Reply
    3. 8.3

      Lesley

      Wow Tammy

      While I dont always agree with gluten dude I find your aggressive
      namecalling and accusatory tone to be more offensive than anything
      ive seen in print.. The nice thing is if you have nothing good to say every
      interaction on social media is 100% optional and you can chose to opt out.

      And on that note im opting put of this silliness
      Best wishes with everything that you hope to accomplish…
      cheers

      Reply
  9. 9

    Allie

    I appreciate Gluten Dude and his information. When I am sick as a dog and have no energy to find out if the med prescribed is safe, I know he has researched it and it is easier for me. With doctors these days you practically have to diagnose yourself in their offce and advocate for your health. It is all about their bottom line, same with many pharmacists. Grrr. I find Gluten Dude’s persona refreshing and feel like he is fighting on my behalf!

    Reply
  10. 10

    Heather

    Be careful with the gluten free drug list. I was taking brand Zoloft for a month thinking it was safe because of the list. I kept getting sicker, called Pfizer and they said they have no idea what their starch contains. Now I am super sick again. Always call!!!

    Reply
    1. 10.1

      Dee

      Such a bummer; the food law should have been extended to ANYTHING we put in our mouths (toothpaste, meds etc.)! It is infuriating to say the least . . . I am SO grateful I am not on pharms. Hope you feel better soon!!

      Reply
  11. 11

    Dee

    I called the Pepto Bismol co and they said that they could not guarantee that it was gf. This OTC drug stuff is frustrating!

    Reply
  12. 12

    Kathy

    What happened to the glutenfreedrug.com list?

    Reply
    1. 12.1

      Gluten Dude

      Looks like it’s down…perhaps for good. Sigh.

      Reply
  13. 13

    John

    After dealing with this issue for the last 4 months I thought I’d share my findings to hopefully save someone else some pain, agony and frustration. Sites like GlutenFreeDrugs.com were great in the day, but their information is no longer valid because they’re only talking about brand name drugs, not generics. Almost no drugs these days are brand name, except maybe OTCs.

    Nowadays drug production and production of base materials themselves is subcontracted repeatedly through various companies all over the world. Often companies themselves have no idea what’s in their own products. There is no consistency in inactive ingredients (binding agents, preservatives, etc) used to form the pill, capsule, or tablet itself. For example, a 250mg and 500mg prescription for the same drug, sold by the same company may be manufactured by different subcontractors and contain entirely different inactive ingredients also from different vendors. Likewise these ingredients may and will change over time depending on cost and availability.

    Some General Guidelines:

    First keep in mind the information that you receive may be outdated or just plain wrong. THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES.

    Try to find an OTC, Over the Counter, drug to solve your problem. They are generally safer because they have tighter reporting requirements on ingredients and usually have a single point of contact, the company. I have found these companies to be generally helpful, but again nothing is guaranteed GF anymore. Many OTCs are really the same as prescription drugs, just a smaller dosage; from my experience half the prescription amount e.g. Benadryl. Talk to your pharmacist about this. Many OTCs are now labeled GF e.g. some Kroger brand products.

    Try and go through an independent or compounding pharmacy rather than a chain pharmacy. From my experience they seem to be more knowledgeable and are not bound to specific lists of corporate vendors.

    Consider using a compounded drug. A compounded drug is a drug that is actually handmade pill by pill by the pharmacist rather than purchased from another company. In that way you know exactly what is being put into your prescription drugs. Not all drugs can be compounded. The base ingredients simply may not be available. They cost more and it takes longer to fill the prescription. In my case it’s averaging 10 days. This may not be possible if you’re sick, but it may be possible to stock up on drugs that you use often, if your doctor is agreeable. Insurance companies hate compounded drugs because they cost more so you will probably have to argue with them to get reimbursed.

    When contacting a pharmaceutical company about a problem or question with any prescription drug be sure and reference the NDC#, National Drug Code Number, and the lot number so they can back trace, hopefully, what they actually put into that particular batch. The NDC# is a unique company and product identifier used in the pharmaceutical industry. Some companies will be helpful, some not.

    Use the following websites to locate which companies manufacture the drug in question:

    Type in the drug name in the search box to see the list of companies who manufacture that particular drug.

    https://www.drugs.com/pharmaceutical-companies.html

    https://pillbox.nlm.nih.gov/pillimage/search.php

    Keep in mind companies merge, buy other companies and change their names all the time; so this is only a starting point.

    This website lists all the inactive ingredients reported to the federal government. Some of this information is outdated. Type in the NDC# in the search box and scroll down to see list of inactive ingredients. You will need to do more research on those individual ingredients.

    https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov

    Look up the company website and call or email the company. This can be very time consuming. So far I figured I’ve contacted at least 30 different companies in at least 8 different countries trying to identify GF drugs for myself and my family. What a nightmare. Isn’t globalism and free trade wonderful?

    It’s a good idea to speak with the pharmacist before going to the doctor to make sure he can order or compound the drug itself. Be sure to check it comes in the amount (mg) that you want as well. This of course requires you knowing what’s wrong with you, what drug you need, and then convincing your doctor to listen to you. Good luck with that.

    When placing your prescription you need to provide the pharmacist with the NDC# to make sure the correct product is ordered. If you doctor is nice they can place the number on the prescription. Mine are not, so I must use paper prescriptions and talk to the pharmacist personally each time I need to have one filled.

    In my case I was taking Augmentin (Amoxicillin/Clavulanate). The pharmacy I was using purchased these drugs from Sandoz. I tried several versions trying to identify the problem thinking it was an allergy to Clavulanate or Amoxicillin. In spite of their documentation, many of their Amoxicillin products seem to contain gluten and almost burned my skin off, then burned my digestive track. I was very sick for months. After much effort the pharmacy’s corporate office contacted the manufacturer who contacted the factory and I was told they used wheat in that particular lot#. I use an independent compounding pharmacy now.

    Augmentin could not be compounded by my pharmacist because the base ingredients were not available.

    For those interested Teva Pharmaceutical’s Amoxicillin and Augmentin pills are GF and manufactured in Canada at the time of this writing.

    http://www.tevagenerics.com

    500mg Amoxicillin, NDC# 00093-2263-01

    500mg/125mg Augmentin, NDC# 00093-2274-34

    875mg/125mg Augmentin, NDC# 00093-2275-34

    I took the 875mg/125mg Augmentin with no side effects.

    Keep in mind they are not guaranteed GF and the ingredients can change at any time.

    The only pharmaceutical company that I’ve found that produces GF drugs is:

    http://lannett.com/products-list.php

    Reply
    1. 13.1

      Elle

      THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I have had a resp illness for three weeks. Just broke down and started the antibiotics 2 days ago. Last night, I fell on the ground with extreme heart pain radiating to my back and left arm. I don’t have heart issues so WTHeck? Also, have been foggy headed with a swollen, distended tummy, out of no where. ….The online GF lists state that the Sandoz Amox/Clav is GF-!!!??? So, I called the manufacturer this a.m. and sure enough – Amox/Clavulanate by Sandoz has a wheat derivative in the Polysorbate 80. UGH! A quick Google search show Polysorbate 80 may or may not be gluten free, depending on what link you read/believe. And several online lists said the antibiotic I took from Sandoz was intact GF! So much misinformation and conflicting info. I am disheartened. And I seriously need a GF antibiotic NOW. Thank you for your recommendation to Teva. I had luck with them in the past and they did tell me they were GF in the recent past. I will be looking for a compound pharmacy for future meds. TY so very much for your post!

      Reply
  14. 14

    dee

    What a great letter! THANK YOU for so much helpful information!

    After being sickened by so many prescriptions in the past, I am so terrified to even try any pills anymore. Thankfully I am not currently on any, but there most likely will be a day when I will. Terrified.

    Thank you

    Reply
  15. 15

    John

    Your welcome. I feel the same way.

    BTW Biaxin is a good general substitute for both Amoxicillin and Augmentin, and is often used for those people who are allergic to penicillin and amoxicillin. It doesn’t have exactly the same coverage i.e. kill the same bugs; but it’s close. It’s like a super Z-pack. The important thing is that both Biaxin and z-packs CAN BE compounded, so you know it’s safe.

    In my case Polysorbate 80 was what was making me sick. It was made from wheat even though it is supposed to be made from corn, rice or seaweed (in the US). Sandoz’s Amoxicillin products are made in Slovakia so our rules don’t apply. I would recommend avoiding anything with that compound.

    Teva told me that their Biaxin is GF too, but I haven’t tested this. Teva is generally friendly if you email them, but you must follow their “procedure” and reference the drug by NDC#. Go to their website first and be as specific as possible in your call/email. Email has worked better for me in contacting them because they have to research things. Usually 1-3 day turn around. Teva’s products are made all over the world.

    Another friendly company is West-Ward:

    http://www.west-ward.com/

    Some of their products are GF, some are not. I haven’t used any of their products though.

    Safety is an issue too both for celiac and non-celiac patients alike:

    A few bills have been proposed in congress to force companies to list all of their ingredients, but Big Pharma has systematically killed all of them.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-05-26-drug-factories-warned_N.htm

    http://www.beyondceliac.org/celiac-disease-news/Celiac-Disease-in-the-News-article/1395/postid–15702/

    https://www.glutenfreeliving.com/blog/gluten-in-medications-lawsuit-filed/

    Hopefully things will change soon.

    Good luck

    Reply
    1. 15.1

      Elle

      Cannot thank you enough John! :) I am printing this out and saving it as reference. (Btw, I too have had a good experience with TEVA and West-Ward). – E.

      Reply
    1. 16.1

      Bonnie

      Is this drug list a 2017 list?

      Reply
      1. 16.1.1

        Dee

        bonnie, whether it be a current list or not, for added protection, until the laws change, it is wise to double check each time we have to buy a new drug. at least i think it is :) maybe i am paranoid, but it is worth the extra step imo :)

        Reply
  16. 17

    Dee

    I am in so much pain today do to other autoimmune diseases and I’m am desperate for some relief. Does anyone here with CD take OTC’s for pain (Aspirin, Aleve, or Advil)? If so what brands?

    I was wondering if anyone out here has a disease called Erythromelalgia? Apparently it is rare, but like CD, I wonder if it is just under diagnosed.

    Reply
  17. 18

    Paul

    I use sensodyne pronamel toothpaste. My dentist contacted the manufacturer and confirmed it is gluten free. He also found one of the crest products (don’t remember which one) to be gluten free. According to him, most toothpastes have gluten in them. His daughter was diagnosed with CD, which is why he did the research.

    Reply
  18. 19

    Dee

    I stopped using Sensodyne because of this statement:

    “Sensodyne toothpaste. Sensodyne states that its Pronamel line of toothpastes is gluten-free. The company doesn’t use gluten ingredients in any of its other toothpastes, but says its raw materials suppliers cannot guarantee there’s no gluten contamination in them.”

    SO, Mr. Dude, what do you have to say about it? Does that mean is it safe to use or not?

    Thank you :)

    Reply
  19. 20

    Jeanine

    I really appreciate learning all this information, and discovering this blog, Thanks Glutendude! I’m relatively new to this life, and I’m curious about if there’s gluten in meds, personal care products, etc, wouldn’t I be sick all the time, as opposed to random times? I’m also asking for my mom, who’s GF and she gets sick randomly without knowing why, and she doesn’t know about personal care products or meds having gluten, (she will now) but wouldn’t she be sick all the time?
    thanks for any advice, suggestions, and helpful tips.

    Reply
    1. 20.1

      Paul

      Yes, there is gluten in meds and personal care products; most toothpastes contain gluten, which is a good example; do you always swallow the toothpaste when you use it, or is it a sometimes thing? If the toothpaste contains gluten, it is risky to use. The safe thing to do is to shop for products from the gluten free medications list, and avoid the risk.

      Myself, I am also dairy intolerant. I was getting sick a bit, but not to bad. I had recently started taking Pepcid AC. Checked the internet for ingredients, and found out it contains lactose. Threw the Pepcid AC away and the problem went away.

      Reply
    2. 20.2

      Dee

      Hi Jeanine,

      I’m sorry you have to deal with this disease, but you have come to the right place. Gluten Dude and the Celiac community are amazing. I recommend reading all the blogs as well as their posts, they are a wealth of information.

      Recently I was in the grocery store, in the produce section. While waiting for this woman to move, I noticed her eating a cracker over the broccoli, while leaning over it she was taking bites then rubbing her fingers together to get the cracker dust off her fingers (over the veggies!). My friend and I were looking on in disbelief; it was a teachable moment but I think I was much too emotional to say anything as my first thought was to grab her by the throat. After that, she proceeded to touch every veggie she could possibly get her poisonous little finger on. Cross contamination happens in so many unexpected ways; I now grab veggies from the back or ask the produce person to get some fresh from the back of the store.

      Sneaky places to have gluten; toothpastes, hand lotions, pet foods, hand soaps, and more have gluten either by cc or added (our laws protect business not people). Some of us have sensitivity to other foods i.e. diary, sugar, fruit, chocolate, coffee, caffeine, rice . . .it can be anything. The elimination diet is the only way I personalty could find out what was troubling my gut.

      Every person’s reaction to gluten is different. Some reactions will be instant, some can take months. Ex: I bought some candy, stating in bold print that it was “GLUTEN FREE”. I ate one here and one there for occasional dry mouth. The symptoms were mild confusion and mind stuff at first so I didn’t notice, I had a very hard time focusing. After about the 3rd month, I started really feeling reeeely terrible, the big D reared its ugly head. Within a week, I wanted to die. It took at least 3 months to realizes it was gluten. I am still in recovery, it takes my body a long time to feel well. Each person is different, some will feel better almost instantly, others take a few months, even years.

      After eliminating all food except yams and chicken for a few days, I began searching and phone calling and I found out that the company who said they were “gluten free and only used corn”, also processed wheat. I don’t trust a word any of them say anymore. Even though broccoli can have cross contamination, it is less likely than trusting anything processed.

      My ND said to eat 9 cups of veggies at each meal (before cooking) and to eat only organic. I cannot afford organic all the time so I stick to eating the dirty dozen organics. Eating unprocessed foods is the best thing you can do for your body; CD causes malnourishment so try hard to stay away from processed food amap, and be diligent when buying “gf” foods.

      Even though I am gluten free now, the slow cc stays with me for a long time. It’s been over a week, but I am still fuzzy in the brain and have trouble putting thoughts in an organized manner so I hope this all makes some kind of sense.

      Be as well as you can,
      D

      Reply
      1. 20.2.1

        Cali Celiac

        Dee,

        I can relate. I suffer depression and anxiety big time when I get glutened or even from eating too much of other non GF foods that bother me like dairy or legumes. The depression and deep foggy brain state is by far my worse symptom. Last time I got seriously glutened I was sick for a month and depressed twice as long at least. I got suicidal so I gave my guns to a friend to hold because I didn’t trust myself.

        When I try to tell people about the depression the most common response is “well I’d be depressed too if I…”. Most folks don’t seem to understand that depression is an illness, not just feeling blue because of circumstances. You may obsess over your situation when depressed, but the root cause is in your brain, not your current state of affairs.

        BTW, nine cups of veggies? I think my stomach would explode.

        Reply

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