Question to readers: gluten in prescription meds?

pillsOn manydays I have IBS, nausea, upset stomach, and  all of the above. Usually, I attribute it to my fibro or side effects of my medication and/or complications of both. But then there are days when I can tell that I am experiencing an allergic reaction to some unknown source of gluten. When this happens I try to retrace my steps and  figure out what I could have possibly eaten that had a trace amount of gluten. Sometimes, I can pinpoint the product but other times, I am left dumfounded, as most of my diet consists of fresh organic produce and whole foods that I prepare usually from scratch. These moments, I am left scratching my head while sick trying to figure out the source of my stomach troubles .Then today it hit me, what if some of the medications that I take, contain trace amounts of gluten? I mean aside from side effects of nausea or stomach cramping, which are not side effects of every medication, what if the components of the medications have derivatives of wheat or are processed in a factory that processes wheat. I had never given this any thought before tonight. I haven’t had a chance to do much research and wanted to put it out there for any of you who might have information or could potentially point me in the right direction on where to look.

I looked on the back of a few of my prescriptions and the labels are nothing like food labels. How do we find out what these medications contain? What are the extra ingredients made of? The fillers? Could I perhaps be feeding myself gluten several times a day? Are there gluten free medications? I don’t know the answers and I am to tired and nauseous to do any digging at the moment. What do you guys and girls know about this topic?

Looking for answers,

the gluten free chef

Image found here


  1. I looked on-line quickly. You can enter the medciation name on Web MD for info on it but there was no ingredients list. It would be best to check with your pharmacist or the manufacturer of your drug. Yes, there can be gluten in prescription and over-the-counter meds and one manufacturer may use it while another may not. If your meds do have gluten you’ll have to talk to the pharmacist about making one that is gluten free. Hopefully you get all your prescriptions from the same pharmacist. You can probably talk to him/her about over the counter supplements you take as well to check for interactions. Also check to see that you’re following guidelines as to empty stomach vs. with food.
    And on another note I’m seeming to recall hearing about gluten in cookware which makes no sense. Maybe it was a chemical that reacts like gluten. I’ll check into it and get back to you.

  2. Gluten cross-contamination in teflon (can’t be cleaned) and plastic or wood utensils was the issue. Here’s a link about replacing the toaster and you can wander from there. Sounds like stainless steel cookware and utencils are best. If you share your kitchen be sure to label your toaster gluten free. They warned against anything pourous or scratched where gluten can hide.

  3. I had a similar problem with lactose. Apparently, lots of drugs are compounded with it but nobody tells you. I made the pharmacist at my local drug store go online with the drug manufacturers and find me a generic that wasn’t compounded with lactose but it took her a while. Clearly, it was worth it to me! What’s soooo odd is that they don’t make that ingredient information more easily available. One of the drugs that was compounded with lactose was a drug for IBS! Oh, d’uh — you have celiac. You can’t have lactose either. Get after your pharmacist immediately. !!!!!

    • I think the drug I never found without lactose was Cellcept. It ended up having to be compounded for me — which Blue Shield did cover, provided I used their preferred compounding pharmacy. I’m betting some of your stuff has lactose in it if it’s that common in drugs for IBS. Also, those wee homeopathic caplets you put under your tongue are all made with lactose so I can’t use them at all.

  4. As an example I searched Gabapentin and found it on Here are some of the inactive ingredients used as fillers:

    The inactive ingredients for the capsules are lactose, cornstarch, and talc. The 100 mg capsule shell contains gelatin and titanium dioxide. The 300 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide. The 400 mg capsule shell contains gelatin, red iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and yellow iron oxide. The imprinting ink contains FD&C Blue No. 2 and titanium dioxide.

    The inactive ingredients for the tablets are poloxamer 407, copolyvidonum, cornstarch, magnesium stearate, hydroxypropyl cellulose, talc, candelilla wax and purified water.

    The inactive ingredients for the oral solution are glycerin, xylitol, purified water and artificial cool strawberry anise flavor.

    It is expensive but you may want to consider compounded medications where you control the filler. The reason I researched Gabapentin is because I was on it several years ago for the neuralgia and my doctor had it compounded. He was worried that with all my allergies and sensitivities I should not also be taking medication with talc, etc. in it.

    I hope this helps.

  5. I have suffered from MCS — for many — many many many years now– it has only been in the last 25 or more years– that those I doctored with seemed to know what my problem was— BUT– I have not taken a chemical drug for soooooooo many years– I can’t remember the last time I took anything– I had to have a tooth pulled a few years ago– & they had to give me the smallest amount of drugs to pull it– I thought I was going to die from the small amount of drugs they gave me to pull the tooth– with all the side effects of chemcial drugs– & with my MCS– being chemical sensitivity— I want nothing to do with chemical drugs–I’ll find a natural alternative that will work for me!!! I’m glad you are able to take chemical drugs– BUT I’ll try every alternative I can!!!

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