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Does Celiac Cause Sensitivites To Rx's?

Has anyone out there found a link with celiac and allergy-type reactions to various medications?  e.g., I take hormone replacement meds since losing my thyroid to cancer
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I can only tolerate a tiny dose because my body reacts like I'm allergic to the medication.  I've checked and double checked - there is no gluten in any of the fillers/binders.  I also find I cannot tolerate antibiotics and a variety of other medications, e.g., severe allergic reactions to Vicodin.

Would love to hear from you if you've had similar experiences.  Thanks!

As always, welcomes your comments (see below).

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28 Responses:

Judy Smith

said this on
03 Dec 2007 6:08:18 PM PST
Before I was diagnosed with celiac I had a lot of issues with antibiotics and even had a form of colitis (curable thankfully) after a bout with erythromycin. I'm also allergic to Avalox and penicillin. The drugs completely wiped out all of my friendly bacteria. I also noticed that taking things like Tylenol never really touched my aches and pains and now I feel like I know why. I try to remain antibiotic free and make every effort to take the alternative approach to medicine whenever possible.


said this on
03 Dec 2007 6:51:51 PM PST
I am trying to investigate this correlation too. I have bad reactions to Seizure medication that I need to take. No answers yet. I had Colon cancer 4 years ago and asked if that could have had an effect. My doctor says no.

D Lindgren

said this on
07 Dec 2007 8:30:04 PM PST
I also had many problems but found out I was also allergic to corn which is a filler in many drugs. I now have a compounding pharmacy make any drugs and can take them again. I would suggest getting tested for corn.


said this on
10 Dec 2007 10:01:46 AM PST
I had a bad reaction in the form of severe nausea when I was put on the 'Z pack' back in May to fight a sinus infection. Since then, I quit taking OTC medications for headaches, body aches, PMS symptoms, and only attempt to use topical treatments when available. I have found that even if the fillers and binders don't have gluten in them that the body still reacts to the foreign substance. My doctor also didn't see a connection but I go on how my body feels. Plus celiac is so different for each person so I'm sure it's hard for the medical world to pin point it.


said this on
10 Dec 2007 6:17:08 PM PST
I'm going for allergy testing next week. I have had issues with corn before but it seemed to subside. I hope he finds something. I'm having problems with all starchy foods and sugar too. Somethings up !
I like the foreign substance theory, but like you Randi, I go by how I feel.


said this on
17 Dec 2007 11:33:35 AM PST
I've just learned that my daughter has celiac disease, and have been researching and researching.. and researching. When I read your blog it made a light bulb go off in my heard. She had a severe allergic reaction to penicillin and when she gets a fever (or is sick) nothing works for her, and also seems to get worse. Thank you for this info. This will be something that I have to look into as well. Happy Holidays.

James M. Jakob

said this on
19 Dec 2007 7:53:05 AM PST
I also have had trouble with antibiotics, particularly for the rash outbreak I get from celiac disease, my blood count went down and I had to quit taking it. I don't know what use on the rash outbreaks.


said this on
20 Dec 2007 4:54:49 PM PST
I have Celiac and react to MANY synthetic medications. The doctors are looking for correlations other than that. I react to most antibiotics as well as a host of other medications. My pharmacist is very careful to check for gluten, but we find I also have dye allergies. The pharmacist suggests that since Celiac is an Auto Immune illness, our bodies tend to attack the healing substances as antibodies. The MD says 'Maybe he is right'

Carol Frilegh

said this on
21 Dec 2007 4:44:05 AM PST
We are fortunate in having several skilled compounding pharmacists here in Toronto. They are usually able to fill a script and make it sugar and starch free.
I can get OTC stuff like Tylenol and Benadryl compounded. Our pharmacy has compounded a magnesium supplement too.


said this on
21 Dec 2007 7:25:37 AM PST
I have an awful time with medications and some I have tried to have compounded but couldn't be. In addition to gluten, I am lactose intolerant and have problems with magnesium, monnitol and sorbitol and at least one of these ingredients is in almost every medication.


said this on
02 Jan 2008 4:13:18 AM PST
I was tested for food allergies-none. But at least he acknowledged food intolerances and said I would have to deal with them. I remembered that Walgreens changed the brand of my Phenobarbital last July and that's about the time I started having issues with muscle aches and confusion. I had them get the old brand back and guess more muscle aches. Now they are in my joints instead, but it gives me a place to start. I do suspect corn but I'm finding out that's one of those ingredients that's in so many drugs . The dyes and other ingredients... Wow, could be so many things. The detective work is so tiring , but so rewarding when one finds an answer !

Marie Jeno

said this on
22 Jan 2008 12:24:04 PM PST
I am Celiac and allergic to corn. You have to be very careful and make the prescribing doctor look up the drug ingredient, and make sure the pharmacist confirms it. One or the other always 'forgets' no matter how careful I am. I have even gotten the: oh, there aren't any starches in drugs! comment from doctors, and ER personnel, which is really scary!


said this on
03 Feb 2008 6:54:22 PM PST
I am Celiac and I seem to have trouble with drinking coffee. My heart starts to pound quit noticeably and my blood pressure seems to rise. Does anyone else seem to notice having this sort of problem with coffee. Also I have a rash problem from time to time, I must be allergic to some medication, maybe my premerin, not sure.


said this on
05 Feb 2008 4:38:05 AM PST
I am severely sensitive to drugs and I am gluten intolerant. I have Stevens Johnson Syndrome , a life threatening immune allergic burn and blistering reaction to drugs. It could easily be confused with Dermatitis Herpetiformis because the rashes can look very similar.


said this on
10 Feb 2015 7:50:40 PM PST
Hi Isabella, I am in the same boat and was wondering if, over the years, you have managed to find any connection between the two.


said this on
25 Feb 2009 2:47:49 PM PST
Possible theory for connection between drug sensitivity and celiac disease? I had a VERY severe reaction to dextromorphan found in Robitussin DM. I wasn't on any other medications at the time, took a normal adult dose and had side effects that resembled an overdose (seratonine syndrome). A few years later I had a similar reaction to the very first dose of Paxil (1/2 of a lowest dose scripted) also not on any other medications at the time. The Paxil was to treat anxiety which was one of the very last symptoms I got before realizing I had celiac disease. Once I went gluten free the anxiety disappeared. If I accidentally get glutened from cross contamination the anxiety starts to return. Doctors have no idea why I had those reactions but upon my lay research on the internet I have established a theory that I may have damaged my villi from years of having undiagnosed celiac to the point where my villi may not be able to produce the enzyme needed for normal drug metabolism. Does anyone have any ideas or medical background to add to this theory? I hope this helps someone!

Ann Trejo

said this on
03 Jan 2011 9:40:38 PM PST
Liz~ I don't have any formal medical background but after a lifetime (48 yrs) of medical problems from A-Z, I tend to agree with you. I am allergic to Penecillin, Benedryl, Latex, Nubaine (a pain med.) and now gluten. I was just at an Urgent Care facility for flu-like symptoms, i.e. cough, chills, sweats, etc, and was proscribed Azithromycin and Iophen-C NR. Luckily I double checked with my pharmacist as to whether I can take them or not, and after a lot of research on the internet and calling poison control, we found out that I can't take the antibiotic. I have to call the pharmaceutical company tomorrow to see if the cough syrup, with red raspberry flavoring, is safe or un-safe. Have you found any antibiotics that we, celiac patients, can take? I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired!


said this on
07 Mar 2013 10:10:19 PM PST
I was wondering if you found out any more on this?


said this on
10 Jul 2009 6:35:11 PM PST
I am sensitive to medications, a lot of foods, drinks, certain smells like plug in fresheners and the such, even environmental issues and it has made it hard to enjoy life. I am tired of it. I feel that this world is so polluted it is incredible.


said this on
23 Jun 2010 6:36:38 PM PST
I am presently waiting for test results after being tested for celiac. Forced to reflect back I have had cramps and stomach aches since I was about 13 years old. I am also allergic to almost every antibiotic out there. The symptoms are not always severe, but at times can be very disruptive and painful. They have been telling me for years that I have IBS and that I am lactose intolerant. I have tried adjusting everything according to my doctor's orders without positive results. I am now 50. Its is only now after it was suggested that I see an allergist along with my internist that they have thought to test me for celiac. After doing an entire health evaluation, and getting my family history they have been able to see that both my sister and my father suffer in the same way. If my test results come back positive it will be bitter sweet, and my other family members will also be tested. Regardless having issues with your digestive system takes the fun out of life. Even if it means a whole new life style, being pain free will make it all worth it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


said this on
22 Jun 2012 8:46:18 PM PST
I too have had painful irritable bowel syndrome symptoms for at least 20 years. I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and have had first degree family members with the same symtoms and other autoimmune diseases. I have been trying to figure out if all celiacs are allergic to penecillin, being that its classically made from bread mold? I havent gotten a definite answer...


said this on
31 Dec 2011 10:50:05 PM PST
My blood test shows that I probably have celiac. I am waiting for it to be confirmed. I have an awful time with medications. I also have lung disease and can develop pneumonia easily so I need to be able to take antibiotics. I have not found one yet that I can tolerate. I have side effects from every medication I try. The side effects include itching, rash, vitalitis, I would like hearing from anyone that has had the same problem.


said this on
30 Jan 2012 10:32:30 AM PST
I also have severe intolerance to meds. I just had two drug eluded stents in Dec. 2011 and have been horribly sick ever since. I think I am reacting to the drug on the stent. Thru trial and error I have found my nausea is not as bad when I stay away from gluten. I am going to Mayo Clinic next month to find out what is wrong because something is. The cholesterol meds makes me nauseated so right now, I can't take the meds I really need. I think I might have celiac as well.

m mcbride

said this on
24 Feb 2012 4:51:15 PM PST
I nearly died from Steven Johnson Syndrome when I was a 6 week old baby. I was in a hospital for months, and now at 50 have celiac disease and diabetes and wonder if there is any connection.


said this on
10 Feb 2015 7:51:36 PM PST
Hi! I have both as well. Was wondering if you've found any connection over the years.


said this on
12 Jul 2012 3:04:23 PM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago and have been gluten-free ever since. I've noticed a heightened sensitivity to certain drugs now that I'm gluten-free and my stomach has healed. Specifically, I get jittery or anxious after taking things like Prilosec or even steroid nasal sprays (leak down the throat). Not sure if I'm absorbing more efficiently and this is causing the heightened sensitivity. The anxiety/jittery feeling usually goes away once I stop the nasal sprays. I will NEVER take Prilosec again.


said this on
17 Oct 2014 5:02:24 AM PST
Joe, have you found any relief or any doctor/ hospital to help. Ever since my daughter was diagnosed with celiac and started a gluten free diet, she has become very sensitive to almost every Rx she takes. Almost as if she has overdosed even on the lowest possible doses.


said this on
26 Nov 2013 10:33:57 AM PST
I was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 years ago, also became soy and lactose intolerant. Now to compound my misery, I get a rash around my lips with bleeding from any narcotic medications, betamethasone, vitamin C and others. I now cannot tolerate fruit and vegetables (except white potatoes) and am down to eating fish and mashed potatoes and drink rice milk. I feel like I'm heading for the last roundup!

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