Allergies And Sensitivities To Medications
Patients using prescription medication with celiac disease or gluten reactivity need to be extra careful. About 3 million people have legitimate gluten sensitivity as either celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Some drugs and supplements contain trace amounts of gluten, sometimes enough to cause an unwanted reaction. However, the options for gluten-free medications are rare on the commercial market. The FDA cannot guarantee what’s on the labels of widespread drugs, and that’s why many patients are turning to compound medicines instead.
Why Gluten-Free Medications?
Gluten sensitivities cause pain, swelling, and digestive upset. For patients with severe conditions, even trace amounts of gluten cause diarrhea, constipation, gas, and general distress for days. To further complicate the matter, some people do react to other ingredients in gluten-containing drugs. For example, short-chain triglycerides called FODMAPS affect patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease (CD), and other gastric upsets. Gluten-free drugs help to treat other conditions in a comfortable, safe way.
What is Compounding?
Compounding is one of the best ways to safely get gluten-free drugs and supplements. The role of compounding pharmacies is to make drugs for patients that commercially available drugs cannot meet. Combining, mixing, or modifying ingredients or drugs creates a personalized medicine in a form specific for that patient. In addition, the process helps avoid FDA-approved medications that contain gluten.
Benefits of compounding
Similar to food, there is no standard for gluten levels in medications. While ingredients like wheat are rarely used in drug products, gluten cross-contamination is still possible. Drug companies also use excipients, which help bind pills together. Some excipients may contain gluten, like starch. Compounding ensures supplements or drugs are gluten-free, increasing medication adherence and improving health. Patients could also get drugs in different forms like ointments, liquids, or patches.
Take extra care of your medication
For patients with no gluten sensitivities, gluten products like wheat protein or wheat germ oil may have health benefits. That said, anyone with celiac disease or a gluten allergy should not leave things up to chance. Don’t rely upon labeling alone. Some patients discover that even substances grown or obtained near gluten are enough to trigger an attack. A pharmacist can advise patients on the exact ingredients then provide safer compounding solutions.
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