Good day to you.  I trust you had a wonderful, safe, and gluten-free Thanksgiving.

I’d like to start a dialogue on a subject I think more Celiacs should have an interest in, yet I haven’t seen evidence of in regard to Twitter-stream.  What is that subject?  Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications and prescription drugs as they relate to Celiacs.  What are the ingredients of gelatins in the capsules of Tylenol, Sudafed, Omega-3 fish oil capsules, and vitamins made of?  Are those ingredients gluten-free?  Have you been curious to know?  Do you “blindly” ingest such medications and supplements much like an ostrich with its head in the sand without thinking of the potential gluten consequence(s)?  All you want to do is alleviate symptoms and feel better – right?  What about that dark secret of you being potentially “glutened” while trying to “feel better?”  Please see more on gelatin ingredients of capsules of medications and supplements and know why you should be concerned:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsule_(pharmacy).  Why should you be concerned?  Here’s a quote from the previous link in regard to one method of creating the gelatin for the capsules: “Plant polysaccharides or their derivatives like carrageenans and modified forms of starch and cellulose.”  We all know “modified food starch” is a potential code word for “gluten.”  This can be a problem for you.

Now that you are having an “Oh My God” reaction – here’s some help.  First, a disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional, nor do I have a medical license of any kind.  That said, I have found resources which may help you ‘weed out’ glutenous ingredients in OTC drugs and supplements and prescription drugs.  One is http://www.glutenfreedrugs.com/.  Another is http://glutenfreeinsd.com/pharmaceuticals.html#other_lists.  In case you’re discouraged in finding a list of gluten-free medications and vitamins, here’s an additional resource:  http://dearpharmacist.com/?p=755.  On the flip-side, another website doesn’t have as much a “rosy picture” for Celiacs in regard to this information:  http://url.ie/dm44.  However, this resource could help you as well:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/406948_2.  Note that not all website resources mentioned may be free.  I’m not affiliated with, nor do I gain monetary value for mentioning their resources and services.

In regard to specific questions in regard to your prescription pharmaceutical drugs, I would recommend you speak with your Doctor or Primary Care Physician in regard to status of being gluten-free.  Ask questions – Research and Educate yourself. 

Please don’t blindly take OTC drugs, vitamin supplements, and prescriptions without informing yourself – I implore you.

Research and Educate – be gluten-free.

Peace be with you.