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So how does one know if prescription meds have gluten in them?

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So how does one know if prescription meds have gluten in them?

I always call the manufacturer. The name is usually on the Rx bottle or you can ask the pharmacist.

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I ALWAYS call the lab that manufactures the medication. You can initially check www.glutenfreedrugs.com...and if the medication isn't listed, then you can call the lab directly.

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I just called the manufacturer Roxane Labs to ask, and they told me that they do not give out any information about the ingredients of their drugs.

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I just called the manufacturer Roxane Labs to ask, and they told me that they do not give out any information about the ingredients of their drugs.

Did you explain why you needed the info? I would call back and ask for a supervisor. Also, you can call your pharmacy and find out if there are other manufacturers for that drug and call them. If they can give you the info, have you pharmacy order you THAT brand. Remember that a pharmacy DOES NOT always have the same brands for your refills. It's important to find out each time.

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I truly understand the frustration you must be feeling but would like to offer a different perspective. If you look at a medication, let's say something like Prednisone, there are about 7 different ingredients (give or take, but go with me here). Each of those ingredients have standards for human consumption as a pharmaceutical. How much of anything other than what it is intended to be has limits by the parts per million.  As an aside, human ingestible food has a limit on how many things are allowed:

 

Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 110.110 allows the FDA to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that you can consume in a given year. Here are some of our favorite foods and their "safe" defects.

Pizza Sauce: 30 Fly Eggs Per 100 Grams

Chocolate: 60 Or More Insect Parts Per 100 grams

Wheat: 9 Miligrams Or More Of Rodent Pellets Per Kilogram

Pasta: 225 Insect Fragments In 6 Or More Samples

 

Back to Prednisone: contains Prednisone (duh), alcohol, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch and sodium starch glycolate. In addition, the 1 mg, 2.5 mg, and 5 mg tablets also contain stearic acid.

 

While there is no amount of bugs or other items in this concoction, it is important to note that each of those other ingredients are usually made by companies other than the drug companies that make prednisone. So you are relying on seven, or eight, manufacturers to provide safe and effective ingredients. They are held to a pharmaceutical standard, of which each of those inactive ingredients are measured by. The ingredients are tested by standards agreed to in the purchasing agreements. But there really needs to be a "pharmaceutical standard for gluten", in which all of the manufacturers of the ingredients listed above could be tested. Without a standard, the best a company could do is ask all of the above if they contain gluten, or not to use gluten in the making of those ingredients. Even if this was done, it is not an iron clad defensible position to state that your drug is gluten free. At best a company could say, 'we do not knowingly use gluten'. Hardly a standard anyone would feel comfortable with.

 

One of the criteria proposed is that foods bearing the claim cannot contain 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten. The agency based the proposal, in part, on the available methods for gluten detection. The validated methods could not reliably detect the amount of gluten in a food when the level was less than 20 ppm. The threshold of less than 20 ppm also is similar to “gluten-free” labeling standards used by many other countries.

 

Do we want the same standards for medications? I am not so sure. But how are companies that claim to be gluten free so certain that they are gluten free if there is no testing standards for being gluten free?

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I have had good luck by having the doctor add "gluten free" on to the bottom of the prescription.  That the the pharmacy has to check for you as it is part of the prescription!   

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