A concern I have heard a lot recently is if there is gluten in medications and supplements. It is a fair question, because gluten may be used as a coating, filler, binder, or other inactive ingredient.
Let’s start with medications. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the majority of oral drug products are not likely to contain gluten. Specifically about wheat, their website states: “based on information available to the Agency, we are aware of no oral drug products currently marketed in the United States that contain wheat gluten or wheat flour intentionally added as an inactive ingredient. We would expect any such product, if it existed, to include wheat gluten or wheat flour in the list of ingredients in its labeling.” (FDA)
Still, always be sure to discuss prescriptions with your doctor to make sure they do not contain gluten, and check the ingredients on over-the-counter medications.
With supplements, it is a little trickier, because it depends on the type of supplement. Obviously, if you are looking at a food type supplement, such as a protein powder or meal replacement beverage, you must read the label carefully and even call the manufacturer to discuss ingredients. In these you are more likely to find gluten-containing substances as an ingredient, not just a filler or coating.
With vitamin and mineral supplements, look for gluten-free on the label. I do not recommend specific brands because formulas and ingredients change, but I do often use reference lists published by two trustworthy sites; you can explore them here:
As with foods and beverages, read the label of medications and supplement, and be on the lookout for caramel coloring, modified starch, pregelatinized starch, dextrates, dextrimaltose, and dextrin, among other ingredients.
What does a dietitian, nutritionist, and health professional do when she discovers she has to avoid gluten? I mean, avoid it to prevent painful symptoms, not to follow a trend. Find out here and get insider tips on diagnosis, management, and navigating a life-long journey.