Medications and gluten

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Celiac disease involves more than just dietary changes for life.  Medications must also be evaluated for their gluten content.  Many pharmaceuticals have an additional filler called an “excipient” to make a particular dosage form of the drug.  These fillers are often made from corn, potato, and tapioca.  However, some are derived from wheat.  The majority of drug manufacturers do not clearly label their products or packaging with information regarding the gluten content of their drug.

If you have doubts about the gluten-free status of a medication, consult with your pharmacist and/or check with the manufacturer of the product.

NOTE:    The “Common Over-the-Counter Gluten-Free Products” listed below were gluten-free as of  April/2016.    Be aware that ingredients and formulations can change at any time.

Common Gluten-Free Pharmaceutical Excepients

  • Acacia
  • Alginic acid
  • Alpha tocopheral
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Carboxymethylcellulose
  • Citric acid
  • Corn starch
  • Croscarmellose sodium
  • Dextrose
  • Docusate sodium
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • Hydroxypropyl cellulose
  • Lactose
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Matitol
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Polydextrose
  • Povidone
  • Propylene glycol
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Simethicone
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sorbitol
  • Stearic acid
  • Sucrose
  • Vanillin
  • Xanthan gum
  • Zinc stearate

Common Over-the-Counter Gluten-Free Products

  • Actifed
  • Advil
  • Alavert (all forms)
  • Aleve
  • Alka Seltzer Gold
  • Aspirin Enteric Coated 325 mg (Leiner, code #44/127, Watson)
  • Aspirin 81 mg chewable (Watson)
  • Baby aspirin (Walgreens, Perrigo)
  • Bugs Bunny Chewables
  • Chlorotrimeton (4 mg tabs, 8 mg and 12 mg extend tabs & liquid)
  • Codiclear DH (sugar and dye free)
  • Comtrex Deep Chest Cold
  • Comtrex Non Drowsy
  • Freeda’s Vitamins
  • Ibuprofen (Amneal, Pharm Formulations)
  • Kirkman (all products are GF)
  • Mobic
  • Morphine Sulfate Ext Release Tab (Endo)
  • Motrin Childrens DF Conc. Drops
  • Motrin (Children’s) oral susp
  • Motrin Cold DF Berry
  • Motrin DF Oral Susp Berry
  • Motrin IB caplets & tabs
  • Mucinex (all forms)
  • Nature Made brand multivitamins
  • Natures Plus Animal Parade
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Robitussin Cold & Congestion caplet
  • Robitussin Cold & Cough Liqui-Gels
  • Robitussin Cold Severe Congestion liqui-gels
  • Robitussin Cold, Cough & Flu Liqui-Gels
  • Robitussin line
  • Robitussin Multi Symptom Cold & Flu caplet
  • Robitussin Night Time Liqui-Gels
  • Sesame Street Complete Vitamins & Minerals
  • Slo-Mag
  • Sudafed
  • Sudafed Cold & Sinus Liquid Caps
  • Sudafed Plus
  • Twin Lab Animal Friends Multivit wafers
  • Twin Lab Animal Parade Cherry
  • Ultramega Gold (GNC)
  • Viactive
  • VitaminShoppe brand all GF

About the Author:

Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG) has been a highly respected leader in the gluten-free community since it was founded in 1974.