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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Swine Flu Drugs: Roche Says Tamiflu Gluten-free

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 05/04/2009 - In the rush to vaccinate people in the wake of the latest outbreak of H1N1 "Swine" flu virus, a number of people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance have asked about the gluten-free status of drugs given for the treatment of swine flu.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has a page dedicated to antiviral medicines and swine influenza. That website contains the following information:


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    To treat H1N1/swine flu, or prevent the flu in people one year of age or older who have been exposed to the virus, the CDC recommends oseltamivir (Tamiflu®). When contacted, Roche representatives stated that all Roche products, including Tamiflu, are gluten-free.

    To treat H1N1/swine flu infection in people 7 years of age and older, or to prevent infection in people 5 years and older, the CDC recommends zanamivir (Relenza®). When contacted, GSK representatives stated that gluten is not one of the active or inactive ingredients in Relenza, but that GSK cannot guarantee that the product is free from potential cross-contamination.

    Please be aware that this information applies only to products available in the U.S. For drugs obtained internationally, contact the manufacturers directly.

    Resources:

    Zanamivir (Relenza)
    Glaxo Smith Kline
    (888) 825-5249

    Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
    Roche Pharmaceuticals
    (800) 526-6367

    Source: Nancy Lapid, About.com Guide to Celiac Disease


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    Also, for those of you out there that can not take the Flu Vaccine, please have you Doctor give you a Prescription of the Tamiflu unmixed. Meaning the will separate the solution from the powder which you can have on hold, however if the Tamiflu is mixed it only last up to 10 days where as you can keep it unmixed for over a year. I did it for my son Howie who will be 4 years old January 13th, 2010. Further the Tamiflu caplets are made of gelatin.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He 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 SF 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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