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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Xanax Contains Gluten
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47 posts in this topic

Xanax has been incorrectly included on lists of gluten-free meds.

From a Pfizer website:

Table 2. Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceutical Products That Contain Gluten as an Ingredient

Halcion

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Inactive ingredients: Cellulose, corn starch, docusate sodium, lactose, magnesium stearate,

silicon dioxide and sodium benzoate. In addition, the 0.5 mg tablet contains FD&C Yellow

No. 6 and the 1 mg tablet contains FD&C Blue No. 2.

Which of those is glutenous?

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Does anyone know of a generic that is gluten free.

I just had to switch my birth control pills, because I noticed that they weren't on the gluten free list but I called the generics and one of the generics is gluten free...

I have written down the numbers to call on Monday, but it's the weekend and I take it 4xday.

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Generic Alprazolam made by Mylan is gluten free.

I am waiting on some more email replies from overseas companies, will post if they come back positive.

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Novopharm alprazolam IS gluten free.

Actavis can not guarantee their alprazolam because they do not test.

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Well, darn! I guess we all know we can't trust Pfizer, we have been warned enough times about this company. I have taken Xanax for years, only as needed. For the last several years it has been in a generic form. In September my doctor gave me a new RX for it and it is from Greenstone labs, I will be calling them today, if I can find a phone number for them. I do not know which lab my old pills were from now. I do know that taking them was always a big decision for me. I had to decide if I needed them bad enough right now to deal with tomorrow. When I take Xanax, the next day I usually have a bad day, a day of jumpiness, on edge, a day where anything can set me off--could that have been a gluten reaction----who knows.

How sad to know we may be glutening ourselves when we felt we were being safe.

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Well, darn! I guess we all know we can't trust Pfizer, we have been warned enough times about this company. I have taken Xanax for years, only as needed. For the last several years it has been in a generic form. In September my doctor gave me a new RX for it and it is from Greenstone labs, I will be calling them today, if I can find a phone number for them. I do not know which lab my old pills were from now. I do know that taking them was always a big decision for me. I had to decide if I needed them bad enough right now to deal with tomorrow. When I take Xanax, the next day I usually have a bad day, a day of jumpiness, on edge, a day where anything can set me off--could that have been a gluten reaction----who knows.

How sad to know we may be glutening ourselves when we felt we were being safe.

You've been glutened. I had similar symptoms, and other reactions, the day(s) after taking Greenstone's Alprazom, which is generic Xanax.

Sorry to tell you this, but Greenstone is owned by Pfizer, and the ingredients, including gluten, are the same in both companies' Xanax. We called Pfizer and confirmed it.

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I too called Pfizer today and talked with their pharmicist--he confirmed it too. Greenstone is their company and makes their generic which also contains gluten. I told him how unfair they have been to us--first telling us it is gluten free, only to have lied to us. How disgusting is that. It makes me so sad.

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Novopharm alprazolam IS gluten free.

Is there any official documentation that Novopharm alprazolam is gluten free, such as on their website(s)?

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When the prescribed medication contains gluten, an option sometimes is to use a pharmacy that does its own compounding. An example is Stokes Pharmacy in Mt. Laural, NJ. I attended a support group meeting in Cherry Hill where the pharmacy owner talked about the process. They can check the medication and identify which component contains the gluten. If the component is just the filler, they can often compound the medication using a different filler. Sometimes, they can change the medication from a tablet to a liquid.

The URL for Stokes Pharmacy is http://www.stokesrx.com/ There are no doubt other pharmacies that provide the same service.

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I was on it for years then found out it was not gluten-free, My Dr switched me to Ativan...he said its gluten-free, sure hope hes right!

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Novopharm told me on the phone that it is gluten free.

Along with Mylan.

Actavis does not test, so they can't guarantee.

I found the Mylan at my Walmart pharmacy but the other pharmacies in my town used Actavis and Greenstone

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Anybody know which is the offending ingrediant at Greenstone. I printed out a list of the inactive ingrediants, and I can't tell which one it is. This is the one that my company (hospital) deals with, and I don't know if I can get it from another paharmacy and still have it covered under my insurance. Here are the ingrediants that they list:

cellulose

corn starch

docusate sodium

lactose

magnesium stearate

silicone dioxide

sodium bonzoate

FD&C Yellow #6

Thanks!

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Anybody know which is the offending ingrediant at Greenstone. I printed out a list of the inactive ingrediants, and I can't tell which one it is. This is the one that my company (hospital) deals with, and I don't know if I can get it from another paharmacy and still have it covered under my insurance. Here are the ingrediants that they list:

cellulose

corn starch

docusate sodium

lactose

magnesium stearate

silicone dioxide

sodium bonzoate

FD&C Yellow #6

Thanks!

I would want to know the source of the cellulose. If the company states that it is not safe from what I can see that would be the most likely ingredient. Someone else maybe can shed a brighter light.

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i know this is an old post, but everywhere i look, it says all of xanax is gluten free....i was prescribed it, and have the greenstone version, which apparently is phizer and has gluten?

anyone have any 2008 updates?

like for generic brands like upjohn and actavis?

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Sorry Timothy, pfizer lied to all of us. Now, they deny ever having said Xanax is gluten free. I spoke to a pharmicist at Pfizer about Xanax and their generic company Greenstone's generic Xanax...he said they both contain gluten, always have. I took them both and reacted to them. I now have Alprazolam from Mylan Labs, their pharmicist told me it's gluten free, and I have no bad reactions to it.

Pfizer can not be trusted, even a drug rep who came into our office one day told me he will not give out samples of their meds to doctors, simply because they are not a trustworthy company.

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Sorry Timothy, pfizer lied to all of us. Now, they deny ever having said Xanax is gluten free. I spoke to a pharmicist at Pfizer about Xanax and their generic company Greenstone's generic Xanax...he said they both contain gluten, always have. I took them both and reacted to them. I now have Alprazolam from Mylan Labs, their pharmicist told me it's gluten free, and I have no bad reactions to it.

Pfizer can not be trusted, even a drug rep who came into our office one day told me he will not give out samples of their meds to doctors, simply because they are not a trustworthy company.

I take Xanax (tablet says Xanax 1.0, manufactured in Puerto Rico) made by Pfizer.

I think it does not have gluten, but they are just saying that it does to protect themselves

from any possible litigation (liability reasons)...or perhaps there is cross-contamination

at the factory. ?

Here are the ingredients:

http://www.pfizer.com/files/products/uspi_xanax.pdf

Inactive ingredients: Cellulose, corn starch, docusate sodium, lactose, magnesium stearate,

silicon dioxide and sodium benzoate. In addition, the 0.5 mg tablet contains FD&C Yellow

No. 6 and the 1 mg tablet contains FD&C Blue No. 2.

I see nothing there that is suspect, although I stand to be corrected. I think cellulose is the one folks are thinking of, but I doubt it contains gluten.

http://www.medbroadcast.com/drug_info_deta...and_name_id=333

1 mg

Each lavender, single score tablet, embossed "Upjohn 90", contains alprazolam 1 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, docusate sodium, erythrosin sodium, FD&C Blue No. 2, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and silicon dioxide. Gluten-free.

I am pretty sure that microcrystalline cellulose is gluten-free. Supposedly it is synthetic.

Even if it did contain wheat starch, a check on that from the European Union says:

http://www.emea.europa.eu/pdfs/human/produ...7a_200307en.pdf

"Wheat starch

Suitable for people with coeliac disease.

Patients with wheat allergy (different from coeliac

disease) should not take this medicine.

Wheat starch may contain gluten, but only in trace

amounts, and is therefore considered safe for people with

coeliac disease. (Gluten in wheat starch is limited by the

test for total protein described in the PhEur monograph.)"

In the UK, supposedly you don't have to worry. (I live outside the UK though)

http://www.coeliac.co.uk/glutenfree_living...ons/default.asp

Can gluten be found in medications?

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines are acceptably safe.

The MHRA have informed Coeliac UK that prescribable, licenced medicines which are listed in the BNF and MIMS (prescribing guides used by your doctor) are gluten-free.

There are European Guidelines on the issue of labelling ingredients on the packaging of medicinal products which are available from the European Medicines Agency website.

Sometimes medications can cause side effects that may present with symptoms that are similar to eating gluten. These side effects may then resolve once the course of medication is complete.

Prescribed medications should only be taken or stopped under medical advice: do not stop taking any medication without consulting your doctor. Your doctor is best placed to advise you regarding alternative medications.

If you are concerned about this issue, Coeliac UK would advise you to refer to the list of ingredients on the packaging, your pharmacist or to the manufacturer.

---

I hope this means that Xanax is fairly safe to take. After googling cellulose and microcrystalline cellulose, I just can't find a straight answer about whether it is safe or not, but some say it is safe.

Any ideas? Please discuss. :-)

thanks.

Best wishes,

Paul

Jakarta, Indonesia

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Since the whole thing with Xanax happened, I do not trust Glutenfreedrugs.com. Pfizer's pharmicist told me on the phone, that Xanax has never been gluten free, nor has their generic made by Greenstone. What more do you want to hear??? I called Pfizer, they confirmed it IS NOT GLUTEN FREE!!!! The fillers probably contain gluten, besides the fact, I ALWAYS REACTED TO XANAX. If you are taking it, you are being glutened.

There were only 3 labs I found that make it gluten free, one of which is the one I use now, without reaction--Mylan Labs.

Paul, medications are not regulated like foods are. If you feel you can trust the Xanax, there is nothing I can do to stop you. As I said, Pfizer LAbs told me it is not gluten free...that's all I need to know.

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"Even if it did contain wheat starch, a check on that from the European Union says:

http://www.emea.europa.eu/pdfs/human/produ...7a_200307en.pdf

Wheat starch

Suitable for people with coeliac disease.

Patients with wheat allergy (different from coeliac

disease) should not take this medicine.

Wheat starch may contain gluten, but only in trace

amounts, and is therefore considered safe for people with

coeliac disease. (Gluten in wheat starch is limited by the

test for total protein described in the PhEur monograph.)"

In the UK, supposedly you don't have to worry. (I live outside the UK though)"

Wow. I guess I can eat Corn Pops now. Anyone tried ingesting wheat starch?

best regards, lm

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As I live in Indonesia, perhaps the product they ship here (from Arecibo, Puerto Rico's factory) is ok.

I called Pfizer here in Indonesia and told them about my health condition and the folks on the Celiac forums being told it contains gluten.

He was with the medical department and said he would call me back in 10-15 minutes. He then called back and confidently said, "Mr. Paul, Xanax 1mg tablets do not contain gluten. The inactive ingredients are..." (and he listed microcrystalline cellulose [instead of cellulose, which is synthetic]) as one of the ingredients.

I pressed him for more information, saying that others have called Pfizer in the US and that Pfizer's pharmacist said it contains gluten, but I couldn't see how cellulose could have gluten in it. I asked him if he could _certify_ that Xanax is gluten free, to which he said,

"No, I am sorry, we cannot certify that Xanax tablets are gluten-free".

Apparently, the source of the cellulose needs to be confirmed. He seemed to be confident that there is not a risk of it containing gluten, but then followed that up by saying,

"We do not test our products for gluten".

Bwah? :(

So, now I am confused. If I hadn't pressed him for more information, I would have hung up after hearing him say it doesn't contain gluten.

Maybe what I'm getting (I used to live in the US and take brand name Xanax there) is made by different specifications? I don't know if what you get in the US comes from Puerto Rico. There have been serious QC problems with drugs made in Puerto Rico by Roche laboratories. Not sure about Pfizer though.

Can someone find out for sure if their Xanax is coming from Puerto Rico? Reason I ask about that is because he says it is microcrystalline cellulose, yet their corporate website says "cellulose" (which could be suspect). Microcrystalline cellulose is synthetic.

Well, they don't test for gluten, so hell, who knows what IS in the tablets.

He was conscientious enough to bring up lactose and corn starch with me and asked if I have a problem with that because some people have problems with lactose and Celiac Disease patients can have trouble with corn.

Hmm..

I'm not doubting anyone who says they reacted to Xanax tablets. I'm just very curious where the gluten is coming from. It could only be from the cellulose and from what I read on another Celiac forum, cellulose should be safe.

I read here:

http://www.celiac.com/articles/181/1/Safe-...ents/Page1.html

"Cellulose is a carbohydrate polymer of D-glucose. It is the structural material of plants, such as wood in trees. It contains no gluten protein."

Can someone in the US please call their toll-free number and ask them where the gluten is coming from?

I react worse to corn than I do to gluten. I had the worst abdominal pains of my life (thought I had appendicitis) along with diarrhea after eating corn regularly. I've been gluten-free, casein-free and have avoided corn since January 2007 and thank God I got better. My acid reflux is 50% better and no more diarrhea when eating fatty foods. Anxiety is also markedly decreased and mood is better too after staying away from gluten.

I eat only whole foods (no processed foods whatsoever) and drink bottled water.

I've never been diagnosed, but the doctor is very suspicious of it. I just cannot afford the tests

as I don't have health insurance. That Xanax cost me a fortune too, so you can see why I really want to find out where that hidden gluten is coming from, if there really is any in it.

Supposedly if the amount is less than 200ppm (some say 20ppm), then it won't provoke a reaction.

I can understand though why a lot of folks would want to stay away from any, period, because there is a 10% risk of lymphoma in the colon if you don't maintain a strict gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.

I'd really appreciate it if someone can confirm where that gluten is coming from and if their pharmacy stocks the Puerto Rican version.

Thanks! :-)

Paul

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Well, I just called Pfizer in the US at 1-212-733-2323. (it is 1:17am here in Jakarta, but 2:17pm in the US)

He says, "There is no gluten in our Xanax product. Yes, we do have factories in Puerto Rico that produce our product."

So I asked him about why the Pfizer website says there is gluten in it. He then said, "We can't certify that our products are gluten-free because of the manufacturing process".

Me: "you mean cross-contamination?"

Pfizer: "Yes, things like that could occur in the factory and would be beyond our control. In other words, to the best of our knowledge, it does not contain gluten, but we cannot certify or guarantee that 100%"

So, my take on it is that it probably does not contain gluten, but there is a possibility due to cross-contamination, because the excipients they use do not contain gluten. He said things can happen during the manufacturing process which are beyond their control.

So, this seems to be a cross-contamination issue at worst. I don't think they deliberately use gluten as a hidden ingredient.

That said, Xanax being gluten-free is not set in stone and better to be safe and take another brand.

However, how many companies actually do certify that their meds are gluten-free? Can they really guarantee there is no possibility of contamination?

I'll try not to worry about it for now. I'm pretty sensitive to gluten and will get bloating and acid reflux like crazy if I take in even a small amount of gluten and nothing like that has happened... that's not to say there isn't some sort of immunological reaction going on in my small intestine, but taking a look at the inert ingredients/excipients in Xanax and I really can't find one that comes from gluten.

More research that I've done over the past 12 hours tells me that cellulose contains no gluten protein and microcrystalline cellulose is 100% safe since it is synthetic. The other ingredients I looked up and they could not contain gluten.

It is possible that the lactose or corn starch could be causing reactions in those who take Xanax.

It is also possible that cellulose and microcrystalline cellulose is causing a reaction because on this very board there are folks who have complained of gluten-like reactions from consuming pharmaceuticals containing cellulose.

*sigh* I hope Xanax is safe to take and that there's no cross-contamination in their Puerto Rican plant.

Paul

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