Not all Medications are created equal.

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We’re pretty lucky here in America. Most of us can go to the doctor when sick, get a prescription filled, and get on with our lives. Simple, right? Wait, you’re gluten intolerant? Celiac? NOT SO FAST!
When it comes to those scripts, Caveat emptor (buyer beware). I learned the hard way it was MY responsibility to ensure the medication I took was gluten free. After being on an antibiotic for 3 months to help my skin, I was starting to lose my hair and have muscle pain. I had already written off the stomach pain and head fog to just being on an antibiotic. Red flags went up and the careful scrutiny of everything that went into my mouth began. It didn’t take long to zero in on the meds.
I found the manufacturer’s name in fine print on the label from the pharmacy and made a visit to their website. Sure enough, there was wheat starch as a filler ingredient. I was pissed. I told my doctor I had Celiac and was gluten intolerant. It was in her notes! HOW COULD SHE DO THIS TO ME?!?
Here’s how: Did you know that when it comes to generics, two pharmacies across the street from each other could have totally different manufacturers with totally different formulas? Imagine how many different generics and manufacturers there are. A doctor who sees patients for an array of issues all day long can’t possibly keep up.
Many medical offices nowadays will send an electronic prescription to the pharmacy of your choice. This may not work for you if you’re getting a new medication. Since I had to learn my lesson the hard way, I swore I would never put myself in that situation again. Now I ask the doctor or nurse for a written prescription to take with me. I then take my time to look up which manufacturers of that drug make it gluten free. Thankfully, there are lots of other ‘intolerants’ doing the same research and some great websites out there can save you a lot of work. One of my favorites is glutenfreedrugs.com. Whatever site you use, just be sure to check the date it was last updated. Formulations can change.
Once equipped with your list, start making phone calls to your pharmacies. Ask them who the manufacturer is of the medication that you need. Sometimes I’ve been given a little attitude by the technicians, but once I explain why, they’re (almost) always happy to help.
By the way, I did confront the doctor who prescribed me the antibiotic. She seemed shocked that such a small amount of gluten could do so much damage. Caveat emptor. Not all doctors are created equal.

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2 responses to “Not all Medications are created equal.

  1. I am not trying to spam your blog with links to my site. But I could not find another way to contact you. You should do an article on gluten at the dentist. I am a dentist in Connecticut and am one of the few in the country that offer gluten free dental visits. You can see my page here: http://www.orangectdentist.com/gluten-free-dentist-celiac-orange-ct/ I came across your site as I was researching a blog post on gluten free medications. Feel free to link to my site.

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    • Thank you for your information! I’m sorry I did not have my contact info available, I’m still new to building websites. This is some great information that I would love to share with other readers, and my personal dentist in Florida!

      Like

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