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  1. The only problem I see now is the older batches of Xanax that could contain gluten. If this was a recent change in the fillers/binders, then it might be a while until the newer batches make it to the pharmacy. Just a guess though.
  2. Here are the updated pdf files I received from Pfizer in their original form: http://rapidshare.com/files/152007727/Othe...SR_802ce9dc.pdf http://rapidshare.com/files/152008210/Othe...SR_802cc635.pdf
  3. Well, check this out. Remember that site that listed all the "gluten-free" drugs from Pfizer? They only listed Xanax, Xanax XR and Halcion as containing gluten. Well, the doctor from Singapore said that data is old and out of date. Pfizer now has several drugs listed that are containing gluten! Beware! Nardil is on the list containing gluten, whereas before it was listed as not containing it. Ok, here's what his email said today after I told him about this site: https://www.pfizerpro.com/product_info/viag...p;FullView=TRUE I told him this site above says that Xanax has gluten in it, so I want a straight answer for me and other folks with Celiac Disease. He sent me updated files and said that website is OUT OF DATE. They changed things as of August and September 2008. Dear Paul Krenz, Thank you for your feedback. I found the website that you gave and there was written Gluten DO contain in Xanax. From our medical information which was updated recently (01 August 2008 and 16 September 2008) stated that Xanax DO NOT Contain Gluten. Please find the attached files for your reference. By the way, may I know the doctor (name and clinic name-if possible address) who prescribes you the Xanax? I also would like to send this information to doctor and so next time he or she can explain to patient who want to know this information. I will contact to website that you gave me regarding your feedback and inform them to update the information. Thank you and Best Regards, Dr. Chan Min Kyi Safety / Medical Information Associate Pfizer Pte Ltd ( Singapore) 1 Science Park Road #04-01 The Capricorn Singapore Science Park II Singapore 117528 Tel (65) 64038888; 64038752 (DID) Fax (65) 64038868 Pfizer Medical Information-General gluten content of Pfizer prescription products The Pfizer U.S. pharmaceutical products in Table 1 below do contain gluten as an ingredient. Please note that Table 1 does not contain a complete listing of all Pfizer pharmaceutical products. Last QA Reviewed On: 08/01/2008 10:50:56 Table 1. Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceutical Products That DO Contain Gluten 2 Aromasin
  4. It's hard to trust big pharma these days. They have covered up so many things in the past, who knows what is truth and lies anymore. They used tricky language in that email. By examining it more carefully I can see that they are saying it doesn't have gluten on some technicality. Basically they admit they do not test the raw materials for gluten, and don't have to and can still say it is gluten-free. I think this means that we should all avoid Xanax and the generic Greenstone products until Pfizer can certify under third-party and neutral laboratory tests that it is 100% gluten-free. Heck, I was thinking of something.. maybe I can take my Xanax pills to a laboratory here and have them run it through a machine to see how many ppm (parts per million) gluten it has? That would really set the record straight, but then my wallet would be a lot lighter. hehehe Yeah, tricky language.. language that covers them from being sued. I hope Pfizer googles this because he called me up and told me to "spread the good news" to the Celiac forums on the internet about Xanax being free of gluten. Hopefully they'll take notice, because apparently it was important enough for that rep to tell me to spread the word about it on Celiac Disease forums, so they know they need our money. We need some kind of bill in the Congress to regulate them for gluten. I know that with foods (which I've been told are regulated differently) the FDA is going to make them state on the label if foods have gluten in them or not. I hope to God they can do this someday for pills. Big Pharma companies have a way with twisting words. Too bad really. :-( I spent $60 on the Xanax and can't take it back for a refund even though it is still in the original blister packaging. Paul
  5. I received a call from Pfizer today from the Indonesian office which imports Xanax from Puerto Rico. He said with confidence that he had contacted the manufacturer over there and they said it does not contain gluten. Perhaps Pfizer cannot get its story straight. I don't know. To be more sure I emailed their global branches and got this reply today: Dear Paul Krenz, Thank for your enquiry to Pfizer. Pertaining to your enquiry regarding Gluten content of Xanax (Alprazolam), Pfizer is please to provide the following information. "Pfizer Medical Information- gluten content of prescription products"
  6. Well, I just called Pfizer in the US at 1-212-733-2323. (it is 1:17am here in Jakarta, but 2:17pm in the US) He says, "There is no gluten in our Xanax product. Yes, we do have factories in Puerto Rico that produce our product." So I asked him about why the Pfizer website says there is gluten in it. He then said, "We can't certify that our products are gluten-free because of the manufacturing process". Me: "you mean cross-contamination?" Pfizer: "Yes, things like that could occur in the factory and would be beyond our control. In other words, to the best of our knowledge, it does not contain gluten, but we cannot certify or guarantee that 100%" So, my take on it is that it probably does not contain gluten, but there is a possibility due to cross-contamination, because the excipients they use do not contain gluten. He said things can happen during the manufacturing process which are beyond their control. So, this seems to be a cross-contamination issue at worst. I don't think they deliberately use gluten as a hidden ingredient. That said, Xanax being gluten-free is not set in stone and better to be safe and take another brand. However, how many companies actually do certify that their meds are gluten-free? Can they really guarantee there is no possibility of contamination? I'll try not to worry about it for now. I'm pretty sensitive to gluten and will get bloating and acid reflux like crazy if I take in even a small amount of gluten and nothing like that has happened... that's not to say there isn't some sort of immunological reaction going on in my small intestine, but taking a look at the inert ingredients/excipients in Xanax and I really can't find one that comes from gluten. More research that I've done over the past 12 hours tells me that cellulose contains no gluten protein and microcrystalline cellulose is 100% safe since it is synthetic. The other ingredients I looked up and they could not contain gluten. It is possible that the lactose or corn starch could be causing reactions in those who take Xanax. It is also possible that cellulose and microcrystalline cellulose is causing a reaction because on this very board there are folks who have complained of gluten-like reactions from consuming pharmaceuticals containing cellulose. *sigh* I hope Xanax is safe to take and that there's no cross-contamination in their Puerto Rican plant. Paul
  7. As I live in Indonesia, perhaps the product they ship here (from Arecibo, Puerto Rico's factory) is ok. I called Pfizer here in Indonesia and told them about my health condition and the folks on the Celiac forums being told it contains gluten. He was with the medical department and said he would call me back in 10-15 minutes. He then called back and confidently said, "Mr. Paul, Xanax 1mg tablets do not contain gluten. The inactive ingredients are..." (and he listed microcrystalline cellulose [instead of cellulose, which is synthetic]) as one of the ingredients. I pressed him for more information, saying that others have called Pfizer in the US and that Pfizer's pharmacist said it contains gluten, but I couldn't see how cellulose could have gluten in it. I asked him if he could _certify_ that Xanax is gluten free, to which he said, "No, I am sorry, we cannot certify that Xanax tablets are gluten-free". Apparently, the source of the cellulose needs to be confirmed. He seemed to be confident that there is not a risk of it containing gluten, but then followed that up by saying, "We do not test our products for gluten". Bwah? So, now I am confused. If I hadn't pressed him for more information, I would have hung up after hearing him say it doesn't contain gluten. Maybe what I'm getting (I used to live in the US and take brand name Xanax there) is made by different specifications? I don't know if what you get in the US comes from Puerto Rico. There have been serious QC problems with drugs made in Puerto Rico by Roche laboratories. Not sure about Pfizer though. Can someone find out for sure if their Xanax is coming from Puerto Rico? Reason I ask about that is because he says it is microcrystalline cellulose, yet their corporate website says "cellulose" (which could be suspect). Microcrystalline cellulose is synthetic. Well, they don't test for gluten, so hell, who knows what IS in the tablets. He was conscientious enough to bring up lactose and corn starch with me and asked if I have a problem with that because some people have problems with lactose and Celiac Disease patients can have trouble with corn. Hmm.. I'm not doubting anyone who says they reacted to Xanax tablets. I'm just very curious where the gluten is coming from. It could only be from the cellulose and from what I read on another Celiac forum, cellulose should be safe. I read here: http://www.celiac.com/articles/181/1/Safe-...ents/Page1.html "Cellulose is a carbohydrate polymer of D-glucose. It is the structural material of plants, such as wood in trees. It contains no gluten protein." Can someone in the US please call their toll-free number and ask them where the gluten is coming from? I react worse to corn than I do to gluten. I had the worst abdominal pains of my life (thought I had appendicitis) along with diarrhea after eating corn regularly. I've been gluten-free, casein-free and have avoided corn since January 2007 and thank God I got better. My acid reflux is 50% better and no more diarrhea when eating fatty foods. Anxiety is also markedly decreased and mood is better too after staying away from gluten. I eat only whole foods (no processed foods whatsoever) and drink bottled water. I've never been diagnosed, but the doctor is very suspicious of it. I just cannot afford the tests as I don't have health insurance. That Xanax cost me a fortune too, so you can see why I really want to find out where that hidden gluten is coming from, if there really is any in it. Supposedly if the amount is less than 200ppm (some say 20ppm), then it won't provoke a reaction. I can understand though why a lot of folks would want to stay away from any, period, because there is a 10% risk of lymphoma in the colon if you don't maintain a strict gluten-free diet for the rest of your life. I'd really appreciate it if someone can confirm where that gluten is coming from and if their pharmacy stocks the Puerto Rican version. Thanks! :-) Paul
  8. Xanax is still listed here as being gluten-free. http://www.glutenfreedrugs.com/list.pdf Paul
  9. I take Xanax (tablet says Xanax 1.0, manufactured in Puerto Rico) made by Pfizer. I think it does not have gluten, but they are just saying that it does to protect themselves from any possible litigation (liability reasons)...or perhaps there is cross-contamination at the factory. ? Here are the ingredients: http://www.pfizer.com/files/products/uspi_xanax.pdf Inactive ingredients: Cellulose, corn starch, docusate sodium, lactose, magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide and sodium benzoate. In addition, the 0.5 mg tablet contains FD&C Yellow No. 6 and the 1 mg tablet contains FD&C Blue No. 2. I see nothing there that is suspect, although I stand to be corrected. I think cellulose is the one folks are thinking of, but I doubt it contains gluten. http://www.medbroadcast.com/drug_info_deta...and_name_id=333 1 mg Each lavender, single score tablet, embossed "Upjohn 90", contains alprazolam 1 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, docusate sodium, erythrosin sodium, FD&C Blue No. 2, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and silicon dioxide. Gluten-free. I am pretty sure that microcrystalline cellulose is gluten-free. Supposedly it is synthetic. Even if it did contain wheat starch, a check on that from the European Union says: http://www.emea.europa.eu/pdfs/human/produ...7a_200307en.pdf "Wheat starch Suitable for people with coeliac disease. Patients with wheat allergy (different from coeliac disease) should not take this medicine. Wheat starch may contain gluten, but only in trace amounts, and is therefore considered safe for people with coeliac disease. (Gluten in wheat starch is limited by the test for total protein described in the PhEur monograph.)" In the UK, supposedly you don't have to worry. (I live outside the UK though) http://www.coeliac.co.uk/glutenfree_living...ons/default.asp Can gluten be found in medications? The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines are acceptably safe. The MHRA have informed Coeliac UK that prescribable, licenced medicines which are listed in the BNF and MIMS (prescribing guides used by your doctor) are gluten-free. There are European Guidelines on the issue of labelling ingredients on the packaging of medicinal products which are available from the European Medicines Agency website. Sometimes medications can cause side effects that may present with symptoms that are similar to eating gluten. These side effects may then resolve once the course of medication is complete. Prescribed medications should only be taken or stopped under medical advice: do not stop taking any medication without consulting your doctor. Your doctor is best placed to advise you regarding alternative medications. If you are concerned about this issue, Coeliac UK would advise you to refer to the list of ingredients on the packaging, your pharmacist or to the manufacturer. --- I hope this means that Xanax is fairly safe to take. After googling cellulose and microcrystalline cellulose, I just can't find a straight answer about whether it is safe or not, but some say it is safe. Any ideas? Please discuss. :-) thanks. Best wishes, Paul Jakarta, Indonesia
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