Welcome to Gluten Free Drugs
A source of information for gluten free drugs
Congressman Tim Ryan, Ohio (D) and Congresswoman Nita Lowrey, New York (D) are co-sponsoring a bill, Gluten in Medication Indentification Act (HR 4972) in May. This bill will require labeling which will make it easier to identify gluten in pharmaceutical products. Please contact your Congressperson and encourage them to support the bill.
Some drug companies have been telling people that some of the drugs that they manufacture contain gluten. When I investigated their claims it appears that the reason they are blatantly claiming that their drugs are contaminated is because they have used a sugar alcohol as an excipient.
Sugar alcohols are not truly sugars or alcohols rather they are carbohydrates that provide a source of calories. The sugar alcohols are naturally found in a number of fruits and vegetables and may be extracted from many sources including any starch, including wheat. During the manufacturing process they are completely refined leaving behind no gluten proteins similar to making table sugar. The mostly widely used sugar alcohols used in prescription drug manufacturing are mannitol and xylitol. Both of the products are used either as sweeteners in liquid drug products or as bulking agents in the solid dosage forms.
The sugar alcohols are used in many diabetic products as well as in many health foods such as nutrition bars. Any person who consumes one of the sugar alcohols in significant quantities can experience gastrointestinal disturbances and diarrhea which may mimic symptoms celiac patients may suffer after being exposed to gluten.
National celiac organizations such as the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America consider mannitol to be safe for use in celiac patients. Additionally, if you go to the Celiac.Com website dated 11/29/07 you will find a list of items safe for the celiac patient to consume. On that list you will also find both mannitol and xylitol as well as the following sugar alcohols sorbitol, maltitol. lactilol and isomalt .
What does this means for the celiac patient? If you happen to contact a drug company for information
and you are told that a drug contains gluten you really need to push them to tell you which excipient in that drug product is considered the source of the gluten contamination. If it turns out to be one sugar alcohols you may wish to re-evaluate their response. While it is always up to the celiac patient to determine whether a product is safe for them, the prevailing literature continues to suggest that these sugar alcohols are safe for use.
If you have any additional questions please contact me through the glutenfreedrugs.com website.
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PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO COMPLETE OUR SURVEY.
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The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center was
established within the Department of Medicine at Columbia University in
2001. The Center's mission is to redefine the future of celiac disease and
treatment through continuing advances in patient care, research, education
and patient advocacy. All of the Center's research is directed toward
celiac disease clinical, epidemiology, and mechanisms of pathogenesis of
celiac disease and patient and physician education.
The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center
developed a new survey of symptoms of celiac disease. We are looking for
people with celiac disease to test the new survey while eating a food with
or without a small amount of gluten.
To qualify for this study you must:
*Be biopsy-diagnosed with celiac disease by an upper endoscopy (EGD)
*Been on a gluten-free diet for at least 12 months
*Have internet and telephone access
Participants will take the survey every day for 8 weeks. Participants will