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BDD

Thyroid Medication and Omeprazole

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I have been diagnosed with celiac disease. I tried calling my pharmacist today (CVS) to find out if my medications are gluten-free as I read the fillers in medication can contain gluten. I told the pharmacist I had celiac disease and needed to follow a strict gluten-free diet. The pharmacist told me the medicine manufacturers aren't "on board with the gluten-free thing," but told me she could call me back with the manufacturers phone numbers. The medications I take are a generic levothyroxine and omeprazole. Does anyone have experience with these medications or dealing with manufacturers?

Thank you for any input!

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I use CVS Pharmacy, and they have been great!  They use Teva Manufacturing, and my account is flagged.  Each time I pick up meds, the pharmacist will usually tell me that he has already called the manufacturer to verify whether they are gluten free or not.  So far, nothing from Teva has had gluten in it that I use.  It sounds like your pharmacist is a little lazy.  I have a friend with Celiac who also uses CVS (different location), and his account is handled the same as mine.

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Thanks for the replys! I think you are right about the pharmacist. She still hasn't called me back. I think I will need to go into the pharmacy and talk to them. If they aren't helpful then there are several other CVS pharmacies located near me and I'm sure I can talk to the doctor about getting my prescription switched to one of them (which it looks like I will probably need to do). Stephanie, I don't know the brand. I don't see it listed on the bottle so I guess that is something else I need to find out.

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I believe they are required to put the brand on the label.  It may be in smaller print thought.  

 

FWIW, I have personally called companies and waited WEEKS to get the information I needed.  And I only got it when I called them out publicly (which I didn't want to do but after 4 weeks of phone calls, I was at my limit and had to get answers for my kids meds).  It may be the company hasn't gotten back to the pharmacist yet or the pharmacist hasn't been persistent with the company.  

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19 hours ago, BDD said:

Thanks for the replys! I think you are right about the pharmacist. She still hasn't called me back. I think I will need to go into the pharmacy and talk to them. If they aren't helpful then there are several other CVS pharmacies located near me and I'm sure I can talk to the doctor about getting my prescription switched to one of them (which it looks like I will probably need to do). Stephanie, I don't know the brand. I don't see it listed on the bottle so I guess that is something else I need to find out.

I have never had a CVS pharmacist find out if something is gluten-free.  I ask them for the brand and call myself, before purchasing it. Often you can find the company info on the web.  You can go to any CVS to get your script filled.  Your doc doesn't have to do anything.  Its in the CVS computer system.  They just change your "preferred location".  Next time your doc is writing you a new script, just tell them the new location or company you want to fill it.

 

If it is any consolation,  there was a study done that showed that almost no meds have gluten I them.  the filler is usually corn based.


 

 

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3 hours ago, StephanieL said:

I believe they are required to put the brand on the label.  It may be in smaller print thought.  

 

FWIW, I have personally called companies and waited WEEKS to get the information I needed.  And I only got it when I called them out publicly (which I didn't want to do but after 4 weeks of phone calls, I was at my limit and had to get answers for my kids meds).  It may be the company hasn't gotten back to the pharmacist yet or the pharmacist hasn't been persistent with the company.  

I finally found it. It is Mylan. When you called them do you usually call their customer relations number? The pharmacist wasn't calling the companies. She was just going to get me a list of them so that I could call. I was also looking at compounding pharmacies (then you know there will be no gluten, but more expensive). Does anyone think that is worth it or do you think the risk is low enough that you won't be getting too much gluten from meds? Thanks!

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Wow. Never mind. I just called the number for Mylan customer relations. Their levothyroxine (at least the 100 mcg) has recently been certified gluten-free. Happy day!!! I got this information in minutes. So nice. Maybe I need to get my eyesight checked, though, because I did not see the Mylan printed on the bottle at first. Lol.

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Yes Mylan is what we use and have for a while now.  Be SURE to have you pharmacy note on your account you only want Mylan brand.  Don't use the automated systems to call in refills, talk to the tech and tell them ONLY MYLAN.  

 

FWIW with the price of levo, I have DS's Dr. write the script for 100 pills with 3 refills and just take a whole unopened bottle. Then no worries about x-con on the trays or the techs not washing hands and handling meds.   It's not a huge risk but I feel better doing it like that of our kiddo.

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Omeprazole does have gluten in it. I learned that at the Celiac Conference in October at Columbus (OH) Children's Hospital. The pharmacist who works there is Steve Plogsted who always updates info. He has a website to check medicines http://www.glutenfreedrugs.com . He operates this website all on his own. He talks about how difficult it is to get a decent answer from drug companies and how even, with him, the answers they give are amazing. 

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Tina, Careful!  Omeprazole is made by MANY different manufacturers!  

Glutenfreedrugs.com actually states that Prilosec (omeprazole) IS gluten free.

On a brief search at NIH, I found at least one generic version that is also gluten free.

Gluten status of meds is, unfortunately, a complex issue.  It is best to call the manufacturer yourself for the gluten status.  Inactive ingredients (where the gluten may be) are frequently changed.

That said, I have yet to find any med in the U.S. that does contain gluten.  Not saying there aren't any; but at least it's not common.

Even Glutenfreedrugs.com has disclaimers.  It is only a guideline.

Be careful out there! 

BDD, I take Tirosint because it has the fewest ingredients and the least chance for cross-contamination.  Last I checked, Mylan's generic and brand Synthroid were also gluten free.  However, these 2 both have LOTS of inactive ingredients.

Whenever I call drug companies, they are eager to answer my questions.  However, most will only say that they don't deliberately add gluten and can't verify the gluten status as they don't test for gluten.  The woman at Synthroid told me they tested for gluten--once!  That one batch did not have any gluten.  Big deal.

Bottom line:  I would take Prilosec, certain generic omeprazoles, Mylan levothyroxine, or Synthroid (and, of course, Tirosint).

Hope that helps?

Actually, scratch the Prilosec.  Glutenfreedrugs.com says it's gluten free; but I just looked at the inactive ingredients and it lists "starch".  They don't specify the source of the starch; so I would have to call the company before I'd take it.  (I have called the companies for the other meds I mentioned).  Bottom line?  You need to call--or get your pharmacist to call.  

I think I'm driving myself nuts with this issue.  We need a federal law that requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to test for gluten!!!!!

 

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I make sure my omeprazole is from Apotec Pharmaceuticals.  It's what our Weis Pharmacy normally uses, so it's not a problem.  I had to find Methimazole (for hyperthyroidism) and Weis was able to get it from Heritage Pharmaceuticals, after I called a half-dozen places to try to find a gluten-free variety. Good luck!

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Thanks everyone! I am getting the omeprazole from Mylan as well. They were very helpful and knowledgeable.  They said it did not contain gluten ingredients and the starches are corn, rice and/or potato based. They also emailed me the list of ingredients for the dose I take.

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12 hours ago, BDD said:

What is the law that applies to packaged food?

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm362880.htm


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does anyone know if Gas-X is Gluten Free??  My daughter takes it everyday because of her celiac.  We are trying to pinpoint her gluten intake as she is always feeling glutened I spite of our dedication to being fully gluten-free and today someone posted that it contains gluten!  I'm horrified!  This could be the culprit!  Help!!

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38 minutes ago, Lisa O said:

does anyone know if Gas-X is Gluten Free??  My daughter takes it everyday because of her celiac.  We are trying to pinpoint her gluten intake as she is always feeling glutened I spite of our dedication to being fully gluten-free and today someone posted that it contains gluten!  I'm horrified!  This could be the culprit!  Help!!

I don't see anything listed that would indicate gluten in this medication. You should call the manufacturer yourself to check that.

 

FWIW- depending on how long she's been gluten-free- she really shouldn't be needing something daily for this. I would look at other sources of hidden gluten or a different dx. 

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