Gluten In Medications

A press release today about gluten in medications discusses a a research grant awarded by the FDA for the first scientific research on gluten in medications. Here are some excerpts from the press release.

Ambler, PA, November 16, 2011 –(– The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is proud to announce that the organization has been awarded a $50,000 grant from The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fund the first scientific research in the area of gluten in medication.

The project entitled, “Gluten in Medication: Qualifying the extent of exposure to people with celiac disease and identifying a hidden and preventable cause of an adverse drug event,” will characterize the problem of unlabeled gluten in medication and raise awareness of the potential harm that can occur to patients who ingest medications that they do not recognize as containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and their various derivatives.

Although gluten may be included in excipients used in medications, there currently are no regulations requiring drug manufacturers to label the source of excipients used in their prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications. To date, there has been no scientific research conducted to determine if the amount of gluten that is in medication results in harm to people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, although there are reports of significant patient reactions to gluten in medication.

This critically needed preliminary research aims to validate or nullify the anecdotal adverse experiences associated with gluten in medications that are reported by the celiac and gluten sensitive patient population. Findings from this project will provide a foundation for future investigation within the FDA and scientific communities, through which additional research, labeling, and safe use guideline initiatives can advance.

“This is a major milestone for the celiac disease and gluten sensitive community,” said NFCA President and Founder, Alice Bast. “A central part of NFCA’s mission is improving the quality of life for the diagnosed population. Keeping patients safe is an integral part of this undertaking.”

Research will be underway in November 2011. A national survey distributed to the celiac disease patient population, which will help researchers identify the adverse interactions patients experience and the types of medications that may have caused them, is set to begin in early 2012.

You can access the full press release here:

Although the amount of this grant is low for the amount of research needed, the research is long overdue and this is a great step forward in providing information to celiac patients about gluten in medication that impacts their everyday living and quality of life.

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