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Gluten In Injection Medication A Problem?

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I'm looking for some thoughts and advice regarding gluten in injections. I have to take a new medication and my pharmacist said it does contain gluten. I have celiac disease so obviously it seems counter intuitive to give myself a shot which contains an ingredient my body hates. Unfortunately there are no substitutes for this medicine but I only have to be on it for 10 days. My GI doctor thinks that because I'm not taking the medicine orally, I shouldn't have a reaction from it. He didn't really seem certain though. Does anyone know more about this? I don't react topically to gluten, it's never affected my skin or anything. Hoping it won't be a problem!

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I would double check that information. In all my time as a celiac, I have never known of an injectable medication containing gluten. Gluten tends to act as a thickener, which is something you do not want in an injection as it would tend to clog the needle.

It is also possible that the item is "not gluten-free" meaning not that there is gluten, but that no testing for contamination is done so no guarantee can be made.

All conventional wisdom says that the gluten needs to get into the digestive tract to become a problem.

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Does the pharmacist know what gluten is? I don't think that is usually something you would want to inject in anyone. I would check the ingredients myself. But, gluten has to be in the intestines to cause the antibodies to be made.

This is for IVs, but it's the same idea as an injection.

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/archives/faq/does-someone-with-celiac-disease-need-to-be-concerned-about-gluten-in-hospital-iv-medications

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Thank you both very much! I feel much better now. I did specifically ask the pharmacist and he said "it has gluten in it" but I agree it didn't make much sense. Maybe he was confused? :) I appreciate the responses!

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Thank you both very much! I feel much better now. I did specifically ask the pharmacist and he said "it has gluten in it" but I agree it didn't make much sense. Maybe he was confused? :) I appreciate the responses!

I haven't found any pharmacists that know what gluten is.

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In FDA's search engine for inactive ingredients it only lists gluten, wheat and wheat starch as an inactive ingredient in tablets and capsules, not injectables. If you're getting a brand name (not generic) drug you can google the name plus "prescribing information" and you should be able to find the package insert (you may have to click on a button that says you're a physician). It should list the inactive ingredients.

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Thank you both very much! I feel much better now. I did specifically ask the pharmacist and he said "it has gluten in it" but I agree it didn't make much sense. Maybe he was confused? :) I appreciate the responses!

He would not be the first person to confuse gluten with glucose, if that was the case.  :blink:

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Are you sure it has to get into the digestive tract to cause problems? My understanding was that the problem doesn't come from the gluten itself passing through the digestive tract. Rather, with autoimmune disease the body overreacts to the presence of gluten in the body and attacks itself (in this case, the colon) as a response. But I'm no doc, so please take what I say with a grain of salt.

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Are you sure it has to get into the digestive tract to cause problems? My understanding was that the problem doesn't come from the gluten itself passing through the digestive tract. Rather, with autoimmune disease the body overreacts to the presence of gluten in the body and attacks itself (in this case, the colon) as a response. But I'm no doc, so please take what I say with a grain of salt.

I didn't give my " opinion ". I gave a link to actual Celiac researchers / experts. You can learn a lot form The Univ of

Chicago Celiac center site. It is easy to read and understand.

In Celiac , the body isn't attacking the colon, it's the small intestine. When you eat gluten, the presence of it in the small intestine, causes us to produce antibodies.

Putting a large gluten molecule in an injection or IV doesn't make much sense. It would clog small blood vessels, clump up, etc.

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http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/CDCFactSheets1_Overview.pdf

Perhaps this would give you some idea of what celiac is and how it " works"?

Thanks for the link, Karen. I'm sorry for my ignorance. I'm new to all this and it has been a lot to absorb over the past week or so since my journey with all of this started. I have actually read a lot from the University of Chicago over the past week, and honestly, have been a bit overwhelmed.

 

My question wasn't really an attempt to challenge you so much as an attempt to try to synthesize what I'm learning. I'm good at a number of things, but science has never been one of them. For example, I knew that celiac affects the small intestine, not the large, but I had always thought that "colon" was shorthand for both the small and the large.

 

Again, please forgive my ignorance.

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I didn't give my " opinion ". I gave a link to actual Celiac researchers / experts. You can learn a lot form The Univ of

Chicago Celiac center site. It is easy to read and understand.

In Celiac , the body isn't attacking the colon, it's the small intestine. When you eat gluten, the presence of it in the small intestine, causes us to produce antibodies.

Putting a large gluten molecule in an injection or IV doesn't make much sense. It would clog small blood vessels, clump up, etc.

 

Blood cells are a lot larger than a molecule and they go through small blood vessels.  Cells contain lots of molecules.  Nonetheless, I agree that gluten would not be in an injection.  I just wanted to give you a reference size for large molecules, small blood vessels, cells, etc. 

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Blood cells are a lot larger than a molecule and they go through small blood vessels.  Cells contain lots of molecules.  Nonetheless, I agree that gluten would not be in an injection.  I just wanted to give you a reference size for large molecules, small blood vessels, cells, etc.

Thanks. I guess I was thinking more about how sticky gluten is and it clumping up and causing a real mess!

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I haven't found any pharmacists that know what gluten is.

 

I only met one and that was because her father-in-law had celiac. Often, they will hand you the package insert for the medication and tell you to read the ingredients...all that teeny tiny print 

 

I had to vet all my mother's medicines and I had to read 4 inserts....it was like reading a chemistry text in font like this.

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Across - you do not need to apologize, there is no "ignorance" for you right now.  It's more like " uninformed".  I was just diagnosed two months ago, I know exactly what you are going through.

Let's see if I get this right.

 

First came the elation.  OH MY GOD, I AM NOT INSANE.  No it's not all in your head, your doctors finally got a diagnosis right.

Next, the panic.  Oh my god, what am I going to eat?  You go home the minute you leave the doctor's office and go through your cupboards, throw or give away anything with gluten.  Toss the toaster at the kids outside playing, they're young, they eat wheat. 

Then I sat in front of my computer, so next was the confusion.  What is cross contamination?  My boyfriend can gluten me?  I need to change my hair products, make up, soap?  OMG - brain fog - Squirrel

Now you spend all your time researching just how you can make your life safe again, how you can get your health back, and asking a ton of questions.  They never end.  Don't ever feel bad for asking them, no question is stupid.  We are all here for the same reasons - answers and more importantly, support.  You will find both of them here.

Somewhere in there is the emotion.  You don't know if you should laugh or cry.  I still don't.

 

Good luck to you.  Just remember, this is a path to getting better and that is the most important thing.

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Across - you do not need to apologize, there is no "ignorance" for you right now.  It's more like " uninformed".  I was just diagnosed two months ago, I know exactly what you are going through.

Let's see if I get this right.

 

First came the elation.  OH MY GOD, I AM NOT INSANE.  No it's not all in your head, your doctors finally got a diagnosis right.

Next, the panic.  Oh my god, what am I going to eat?  You go home the minute you leave the doctor's office and go through your cupboards, throw or give away anything with gluten.  Toss the toaster at the kids outside playing, they're young, they eat wheat. 

Then I sat in front of my computer, so next was the confusion.  What is cross contamination?  My boyfriend can gluten me?  I need to change my hair products, make up, soap?  OMG - brain fog - Squirrel

Now you spend all your time researching just how you can make your life safe again, how you can get your health back, and asking a ton of questions.  They never end.  Don't ever feel bad for asking them, no question is stupid.  We are all here for the same reasons - answers and more importantly, support.  You will find both of them here.

Somewhere in there is the emotion.  You don't know if you should laugh or cry.  I still don't.

 

Good luck to you.  Just remember, this is a path to getting better and that is the most important thing.

Thanks, Beth. Yeah, that's pretty much exactly how it's been...except for the throwing out gluten stuff. I've been gluten free for about six months now. I feel like I do spend all of my time on the computer these days trying to figure out how to get my health back. I have gotten dramatically better since being off gluten, but now after a positive blood test, I face the prospect of having to get sick all over again in order to get a biopsy done to get a definitive diagnosis. I've been accidentally glutened a few times lately, and it scares me how sick I feel all over again, and that I might have to go through months of that just to get "officially" diagnosed.

 

I'm a bit overwhelmed with everything right now. Thanks so much for your kind words and understanding. I really appreciate it!

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