Welcome to Gluten Free Drugs
A source of information for gluten free drugs
Some drug companies have been telling people that some of the drugs that they manufacture contain gluten. When I investigated their claims it appears that the reason they are blatantly claiming that their drugs are contaminated is because they have used a sugar alcohol as an excipient.
Sugar alcohols are not truly sugars or alcohols rather they are carbohydrates that provide a source of calories. The sugar alcohols are naturally found in a number of fruits and vegetables and may be extracted from many sources including any starch, including wheat. During the manufacturing process they are completely refined leaving behind no gluten proteins similar to making table sugar. The mostly widely used sugar alcohols used in prescription drug manufacturing are mannitol and xylitol. Both of the products are used either as sweeteners in liquid drug products or as bulking agents in the solid dosage forms.
The sugar alcohols are used in many diabetic products as well as in many health foods such as nutrition bars. Any person who consumes one of the sugar alcohols in significant quantities can experience gastrointestinal disturbances and diarrhea which may mimic symptoms celiac patients may suffer after being exposed to gluten.
National celiac organizations such as the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America consider mannitol to be safe for use in celiac patients. Additionally, if you go to the Celiac.Com website dated 11/29/07 you will find a list of items safe for the celiac patient to consume. On that list you will also find both mannitol and xylitol as well as the following sugar alcohols sorbitol, maltitol, lactilol and isomalt.
What does this means for the celiac patient? If you happen to contact a drug company for information and you are told that a drug contains gluten you really need to push them to tell you which excipient in that drug product is considered the source of the gluten contamination. If it turns out to be one sugar alcohols you may wish to re-evaluate their response. While it is always up to the celiac patient to determine whether a product is safe for them, the prevailing literature continues to suggest that these sugar alcohols are safe for use.
If you have any additional questions please contact me through the glutenfreedrugs.com website.
MEDICATIONS AND ADDITIONAL LINKS
In order to provide you more useful information I am putting together another lit with the purpose of eliminating the other lists
This list is by no means complete yet and it is taking quite a while so please be patient. If you like this new format feel free to
send me an email. Thanks New list
Vicks Nature Fusion (click on this link for press release and gluten statement and below to access web site)
Links to various local and national associations and support groups
This website is authored and maintained by a clinical pharmacist as a public
service, receiving no compensation whatsoever for providing this
information. Information for this website is obtained from a number of
sources, including personal contact with the manufacturers and input from other
individuals who contact manufacturers. The information is continually
updated as it is obtained.
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