Podcast Script
Hello my name is Vehik and I am a dietetic intern in the University of Maryland College Park. Today I
want to highlight what people with Celiac disease need to know about gluten in their medication.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects 1 in 133 people in the US general
population. Persons with celiac disease are advised to adhere to a lifelong, gluten-free nutrition
prescription, strictly avoiding wheat, barely, and rye. For those with celiac disease, ingesting
even the smallest amount of gluten can trigger a reaction, and it's no different when it comes to
medication. Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs can be a hidden source of gluten.
To make sure your meds are gluten-free use the following tips.
Learn the Ingredients
The first step is identifying whether or not a medication contains gluten. Labeling glutencontaining ingredients in medication isn't legally required, and it's often the inactive
ingredients (binders or fillers) that can be potential sources of gluten. Pay attention to the
inactive ingredients—particularly anything with starch. Some other words to look out for
include: pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate, dextrin or dextrate.
Investigate Brand vs. Generic
The difference between a brand-name product and generic can often lie in the inactive
ingredients that are used, which is where gluten might show up.
Consult Your Doctors--all of them. You should let all the doctors that you see on a
regular basis that you have celiac disease and that if medications are prescribed they have
to be gluten-free. This includes your dentist and any specialists.
Get to Know Your Pharmacist
In addition to developing a relationship with your doctors, it's also important to work
with your pharmacy to address your gluten-free needs. Let your pharmacist know that
your medication cannot contain gluten—and have your pharmacist to put it in your file.
Tell Your Insurance
Informing your insurance that you are gluten-free could help when it comes to approving
brand-name medication over generic, if the generic medication contains gluten. It's not a
guarantee whether an insurance company is going to be willing to do this but they may
make an exception and approve a brand name because it is gluten-free.
Thanks you for listening to my podcast!