Is Your Medication Gluten Free?



It happens to the best of us, we push ourselves, overdo it, stress our systems; we get sick.  I’m not talking about a sniffle or cough, but really sick!  I am a great believer in homeopathic medicine, but I also understand that there is a time and place for allopathic medicine.  As a Nutritional Therapist I believe that a properly prepared nutrient dense diet can keep our immune systems strong, but I also know when to say when.  My best friend urged me to write this post, and hopefully the information I am sharing will be helpful.

In September of 2003 I contracted Lyme Disease.  Unfortunately, the Doctor I saw was not well versed and it was many months before I received proper treatment.  I don’t want to go into the gory details, suffice to say I learned how to live with Lyme Disease.  Through trial and error I found a supplementation protocol and nutrient dense diet free of grains and refined sugars prevented relapses.  I have been in remission for many years, but during the Holidays the perfect storm occurred; my immune system became stressed.  The holiday rush, lack of sleep, getting glutened several times….Wham, the “bulls-eye” had returned!

I know that many of you are going to disagree with the course of action that I decided to take, but I had to do what was best for me.  My Functional Practitioner referred me to an Integrative Physician who specializes in Lyme disease.  This Doctor fully understood Lyme as well as Celiac Disease, and the protocol he prescribed (both allopathic and holistic) was gluten free.  What happened next, a true fiasco!

Gluten Free prescriptions in hand I headed to the pharmacy.  I was tired, had a severe case of brain fog, muscle aches, and a pounding headache.  I waited patiently for the prescriptions to be filled; 25 minutes later, with medications in hand, I headed home (without checking the prescriptions).  Once at home I opened the bag to find that the pharmacy had filled the prescriptions with gluten containing generics!  I called the pharmacy immediately and told them of the error.  The pharmacist explained that the insurance company only allowed the generic to be filled, and any changes would require pre-authorization.  They pharmacist also explained that they would have to order the gluten free medications and it could be several days.  Many phone calls and 5 days later I finally have gluten free medications and can begin the protocol prescribed by the Doctor.  When you are sick, and have Celiac Disease the last thing you should have to worry about is getting ill from the medication you are taking to make you better.

I knew that the medications contained gluten because of years of experience, but even I am fallible and I hope you will learn from my missteps.  (1) Always ask your Doctor to confirm that the prescription he or she is writing is gluten free. (2) Make sure the Doctor checks the little box on the prescription pad that says “Brand Medically Necessary”.   (3) Check with the pharmacy to confirm that they have the prescribed medication in stock. (4) Always check your prescription before leaving the pharmacy (5) Let the pharmacy know that you have Celiac Disease or are Gluten Sensitive.  (6)  And finally, one of the most important resources that anyone with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivities should have bookmarked is   This website is authored and maintained by Steve who is a clinical pharmacist.  It contains an extensive list of both prescription and over-the-counter medications and is updated frequently.  He provides this information as a public service, and obtains and compiles data from a number of sources (including the manufacturers).

I am on the mend, and my sincere hope is that if you do need to take a medication the information in this post will save you from the mistakes that I made….Please, confirm that your medications are gluten free so that you may heal quickly.

Health, Personal Care

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