Gluten in Prescription Drugs: When Medicine Isn’t

A good friend of mine, like millions of other Americans, has a gluten allergy. Gluten and also corn products give her terrible pains in her stomach whenever she eats them. It is often a long and difficult road for people to discover what the problem is in this case and the best way to change their lifestyle to fix it. Once they finally figure out what is causing their ailments, it can be very liberating, as if they found a miracle cure.

But, there is a pressing problem. Many drug companies use gluten and corn products as filler in their medications. If you desperately need a prescription medicine for some reason other than your allergy, you don’t really have any choice but to take it, even if it causes you pain or discomfort.

Some drug companies disclose what ingredients go into their medicines, but many do not. It would appear that some aren’t even sure what is going into their little pills. On behalf of my friend, I sent an e-mail to Novartis regarding their medication Trileptal. Here was their reply:

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation does not knowingly or intentionally include gluten in its products. However, due to multi-sourcing of certain inactive ingredients we can not guarantee the absence of gluten from our products.

It seems like they can do better than that, but I don’t know how to get them to try. If some of you were to send them e-mail like I did, it could help.  The more noise we make, the more likely the issue will filter up to someone who can actually help fix this problem.

Who knows what else these people put in their medicines!  Does anyone else have any experience with this problem with specific medications?  Is there a good solution?


One Response

  1. I don’t have a problem with gluten but I do have a corn allergy. All my meds whether normally otc or not are prescribed & compounded special for me. Sure it is pricey, but better than the alternative.

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