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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    FDA Hunts Out Gluten in Drugs to Help Those with Celiac Disease

    Caption: Image: CC-FDAgov

    Celiac.com 02/20/2012 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is gathering information on drug ingredients derived from wheat, rye or barley, to help people with celiac disease make better-informed decisions when buying drugs and other health products.

    FDASpecifically, the FDA is asking pharmaceutical companies for information about any ingredients derived from wheat, rye or barley, that are used to make U.S. products.

    Additionally, the FDA is seeking information about the prevalence of such ingredients, processing steps taken or possible to remove gluten, and any current gluten testing practices.

    The FDA is also seeking to understand exactly how crucial ingredients derived from wheat, rye and barley are to the production of any given drug that may contain them, and to press for possible substitutes.

    Lastly, the FDA wants to make certain that people with gluten sensitivities get complete information when receiving drugs in a clinical setting.

    Overall, the FDA seems to be making certain that the known allergens in wheat, rye and barley are getting proper attention from drug manufacturers.

    Stay tuned for the results, and for information on how these FDA actions impact gluten-free issues regarding drugs, health and medical products in the future.

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    I hope at least they make it oobvious when a drug contains gluten. It's bad enough to need medication without accidentally getting gluten. I have called drug companies to see if a certain drug contained gluten and it would take days for them to find out from their suppliers. Also in the past pharmacists have seemed clueless about exactly what gluten is.

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    I check with the maker of all my medications and I've yet to find any med with gluten in it.

    It seems to be easy to get gluten information on brand name drugs, however for many generics, it can be a challenge. Many companies buy their "pre-gelantinized" ingredient from outside companies and cannot address how that ingredient was made, even if they attest that no ingredients on their side of the manufacturing were used. We stick with brand names in those instances.

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    I have celiac disease and must avoid gluten in drugs but I am allergic to corn and sulfites, and most all drugs contain corn additives, and many also contain sulfites. My thyroid medications contain corn and I have allergic reactions after taking them. No gluten in them, though.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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