Pharmaceutical Medications and Celiac Disease

I recently ran into a problem with a medication prescribed for me by my doctor.  The medication itself was right, but there was something in it that made me sick. And it felt like a gluten reaction. I called my pharmacist and they weren’t able to determine from the label what fillers were in the medication. So I called the company that manufactures the medication, and they were able to tell me.  And there it was, the fillers contained wheat! Glad I found out!   So my pharmacist was kind enough to work with me, to find another manufacturer of that product that could tell me it was gluten free. Then problem solved. I got the same medication , but a gluten free version of it.

You know, We don’t often think of Celiac disease involving more than just diet.  Medications must also be looked at  as may containing gluten.  A lot of Pharmaceutical companies add fillers known as, “excipient”. This is to make a particular dosage form of the drug. They are fillers often made from Corn, potato, and tapioca. These are the most common fillers. But we need to be careful as some can be derived from wheat. Since a majority of drug manufacturers don’t always clearly label their products on their packages regarding gluten content, we have to check with the pharmacist or call the company directly to see exactly what fillers are used.  Here is a list of the most common over the counter gluten free products!  This list was listed as gluten free as of April 2016, but recently updated on 5/11/17.  Be aware that formulations of these drugs can change at any time.  So always check labels. If the label isn’t clearly marked, call the manufacturer to get clear information.  Thanks again for visiting my site!  Iris


The following list is from


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
  • I also looked up the product called Emergen-C ,  and it is tested and Gluten free as well.

This article has been assessed and approved by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

LAST UPDATED: 05/11/2017

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