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Medications & Frustrating Pharmacists
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Yesterday my doctor called in a prescription for me (nothing serious,just a little infection) and when I went to pick it up I asked the pharmacist to make sure the medication was gluten-free. I explained to him that I have celiac disease and even the smallest amount of gluten can be harmful. He stared at me and then said he'd look in to it. He spent about 30 minutes trying to figure it out before telling me he didn't think it had gluten in it,but that the manufacturer was closed.

Today I called the pharmacy back and told them that I needed them to call the manufacturer again to make sure there was nothing in it that would make me sick. The pharmacist asked me what happens when I have gluten and then told me that because I didn't have an anaphylactic reaction than she didn't understand why it was such a big deal if I ingested some. I nearly started crying,I was so frustrated that she was telling me this.

I just needed to vent,thanks everyone! Has anyone else had this problem with pharmacists? I know lots of meds don't have gluten,but it seems important to make sure any ones we take absolutely don't.

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Yesterday my doctor called in a prescription for me (nothing serious,just a little infection) and when I went to pick it up I asked the pharmacist to make sure the medication was gluten-free. I explained to him that I have celiac disease and even the smallest amount of gluten can be harmful. He stared at me and then said he'd look in to it. He spent about 30 minutes trying to figure it out before telling me he didn't think it had gluten in it,but that the manufacturer was closed.

Today I called the pharmacy back and told them that I needed them to call the manufacturer again to make sure there was nothing in it that would make me sick. The pharmacist asked me what happens when I have gluten and then told me that because I didn't have an anaphylactic reaction than she didn't understand why it was such a big deal if I ingested some. I nearly started crying,I was so frustrated that she was telling me this.

I just needed to vent,thanks everyone! Has anyone else had this problem with pharmacists? I know lots of meds don't have gluten,but it seems important to make sure any ones we take absolutely don't.

What Pharmacy was it? What Country / State or other information? If it's a Chain, Email the home office.. Contact the Goverment body that the Pharmacist holds their License in...

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That was a very cold response and none of her darn business. But, you will come across many people who are ignorant to our issues. That's why self education is such a big part of our success.

It is best to contact that manufacturer and use the experience of hundreds here, who have been where you are now. There's great information here.

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This pharmacist needs to be educated. Meanwhile is there another pharmacy you could go to? I also agree that the pharmacist should be reported, they are responsible for making sure that what they give you is safe for you. As to a lot of meds being safe, well unfortunately that really isn't the case. All your meds need to be checked and if they are generic they need to be checked at each refill. I would never wish celiac on anyone but it this persons case.......

If you can tell us what the med is someone here may know if it is safe or not.

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My pharmacist doesn't get it either and thought they could just read the label. I always ask the doc. to write the generic and brand name of the med down for me. That way if I can't track one down maybe I'll have better luck with the other. I often end up with a day or so delay. I also have to call them myself and often have to track down the phone numbers myself. They finally are starting to get used to me so last time I was able to call from the pharmacy phone. If I have to look up the numbers myself, I try the manufacturers website or one of the gluten-free meds lists, but I'm not sure how up to date they are. There needs to be a better way! Unfortunately, I've heard your story many times here before from others.

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The medication is metronidazole, for treating BV and it was at a Walgreens. I asked for either the manufacturer's name/number or for them to call. They called and told me that the one thing that could possibly have gluten in it is made from potato. I'm still suspicious because they were so dismissive,but I think it's safe. has anyone else had experience with this? As I understand it,this is the generic of Flagyl.

Thanks everyone! It's always nice to hear the comforting comments and "oh yeah,I've been there". I know it's just a matter of informing them and patiently reminding them of what I need.

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Thanks Momma Goose for the updated list.

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I just finished taking that very drug for that very reason. Flagyl (the brand name) is gluten free, but it is hard to find and is super expensive... even with our insurance 7 days was going to cost me $75.

Metronidazole is a serious antibiotic, and it's likely it will make you feel sick, but not from gluten. Make sure you take it after you eat a full meal to ease the stomach affects.

**I should add that mine was made my Pliva (which is part of Teva Pharmaceuticals). I'm not sure if someone else also manufactures it, though.**

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Metronidazole is a serious antibiotic, and it's likely it will make you feel sick, but not from gluten. Make sure you take it after you eat a full meal to ease the stomach affects.

And by all means, don't drink any alcohol while on it.

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The medication is metronidazole, for treating BV and it was at a Walgreens. I asked for either the manufacturer's name/number or for them to call. They called and told me that the one thing that could possibly have gluten in it is made from potato. I'm still suspicious because they were so dismissive,but I think it's safe. has anyone else had experience with this? As I understand it,this is the generic of Flagyl.

Thanks everyone! It's always nice to hear the comforting comments and "oh yeah,I've been there". I know it's just a matter of informing them and patiently reminding them of what I need.

i just finished a dose of this "flagyl" is the brand name and metronidazole is the generic name. i had no problem with it. i too use walgreens, but my pharmacist understands celiac. i had to tell him about it, and in the beginning there were many times that i could call the manufacturer myself. they will give you the number or the company's name. on every drug website you can call, there is a pharmacy or allergy promt. the person on the other end will ask you many questions, ie: allergies, doc, address etc. they will put you on hold for a little bit, but when they come back they will tell you with 100% if there is gluten in it, or in the generic brand. most of the time my pharm with do the research, but sometimes it is easier for me. i would report your pharmacist for their words, they of all people understand contraindications with medications. that remark was uncalled for. I am sorry you had a hard time with this particular pharmacist. i finally have one i trust, to the point that my nasal inhaler is now only covered by generic brand and it had gluten. it took them about a week but they found one that i could use and ordered for me. sometimes its all about customer service, one person can make everyone else bad. good luck. remember with this medicine absolutiely no alcohol, or red wine vinegar. it will give you an antibuse effect and you will vomit until the cows come home. make sure you drink plenty of water with this to prevent a yeast infection in your throat. don't forget as well side effects to this med as well as other antiinfectives is diarrhea, headache, cramping, and metallic taste in your mouth. the do subside eventually, but the taste is awful, use sugar free hard candies to help with that (gluten free of course) good luck

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    • I just now saw the second reply and I see what you mean. Again, the issue is that I may have to go with the gluten until close to the end of the year.

      However, an idea did just come to mind, and that is, can my primary care doctor do such a test? I had normal blood work done, but they didn't really say anything about testing for celiacs. I can get an appointment with my primary care doctor much sooner than a GI.

      When I was talking to my PCP last, I asked her what I should expect as far as testing goes or what she may have been concerned about. Her reply was about a HIDA scan for the gallbladder but also any test needed in case of IBS or Celiacs. Just the way she threw that in there like an after thought and left me hanging kinda had me worried.
    • I am not a doctor that's for sure.  So, I can't even answer your questions.  If you know you have pre-diabetes, you probably are working with a doctor.  Can you email them and ask for a celiac blood panel?   You can work on the weight loss and diabetes -- that you can handle yourself now and take action.  I have diabetes and my glucose readings are fairly normal now without medication and I'm thin.  Being overweight does not cause diabetes.  It's either autoimmune (type 1) or you become insulin resistant (type 2).  You can cut out all sugar and  processed stuff ASAP to help take action and start walking 10,000 steps (helps with the insulin resistance).    But the prediabetes is not going to kill you in the next year.  Whatever's in your gut is more likely going to get you much sooner.  But heck, I'm not a doctor and I don't even know you!    
    • Hi Steph, Yes, celiac disease can cause a myriad of symptoms and damage to the body,  Have you completed all celiac disease testing?  Usually they do the blood antibodies test first and then do an endoscopy.   You shouldn't go gluten-free until all testing is completed. Gluten is in many processed foods.  But if you stick with whole foods it is not hard to avoid gluten.  Getting used to eating gluten-free may take some time, as we need to adjust our preferences in diet.  But there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free.  Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Some celiac disease organizations recommend avoiding oats also for the first 18 months of the gluten-free diet. Celiac disease impairs the ability of the body to absorb nutrients (including vitamins).  That can make it hard for the body to maintain itself and heal/repair damage.  So celiac can easily impact any part of the body. Sardines, tuna, mackeral and salmon have good amounts of vitamin D in them.  There are supplements available also, but not all are good.  You can check them at the labdoor website.  Nature Made is a good one and not expensive.  Internal damage from celiac can cause liver issues.  Those will probably clear up after being on the gluten-free diet a while. Recovery from celiac can take  months, and can be a rocky road.  The more you stick with whole foods and avoid cross-contamination issues the sooner you will heal IMHO. You may find that dairy causes problems for your digestion at first.  But it make stop being a problem after you have healed up some. welcome to the forum!
    • Will this be dangerous considering how long I have to wait for any testing? I may not even get a blood test in November but here is hoping. I just worry having to wait so long will cause serious issues, not to mention delay of weight loss which I need for the pre-diabetes. Do ulcers have a chance to cause yellow stools though? I suppose a stool test will be needed for that for any signs of blood in stools but visually it does not seem so. The biggest issue is not knowing what else could be causing the yellow stools as this would not be a diabetic or ulcer thing. And without negative signs on the gallbladder or liver, it is narrowing down the list.

      At the very least this is making me assume I can wait on a final scan of gallbladder and attempt blood tests and endoscopy if they recommend it.
    • The first step is getting a celiac blood panel.   Any medical doctor can order one.  Live near Chicago?  They are do free screenings this month (check their website).  The cost is less than $400 for the complete panel.  If you get a positive on any one of them, then you should be referred to a GI for an endoscopy to obtain intestinal biopsies.   Here's more information from a reliable source and not just some lady on the internet: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ Having had my gallbladder removed (probably ruined from undiagnosed celiac disease, but I don't know that for sure), I would recommend a HIDA scan.  I have no idea how expensive that one is.  It's a nuclear test that checks for functionality.  Basically, is your gallbladder squeezing bile into your small intestines when those fries or bacon come down the tube.  Mine happened to actually be rotting (infected).  ER suspected appendicitis, but it was a rotten gallbladder.  I never had any stones (that's what the CT or the ultrasound can find).  I am sorry that you are ill.  Keep eating gluten until all testing is complete.  This is important.  Go gluten free now?  Here's why you shouldn't..... http://theceliacmd.com/2013/04/six-reasons-to-test-for-celiac-disease-before-starting-a-gluten-free-diet/  
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