Normally GPsGeneral Practitioner, or local doctor will prescribe medicines that are licensed and listed in prescribing guides such as the BNFBritish National Formulary - a joint publication of the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. It is published biannually and includes key information on the selection, prescribing, dispensing and administration of medicines. Medicines generally prescribed in the UK are covered and those considered less suitable for prescribing are clearly identified. and MIMS. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medicines are acceptably safe. They have informed Coeliac UK that all medications listed in the prescribing guidelines are gluten-freeWhen a food has less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten so it is safe for people with coeliac disease to eat.
If a medicine contains wheat starch this will be indicated on the label and the accompanying patient information leaflet. Wheat starch of pharmaceutical quality is highly processed and considered glutenA protein that is found in the cereals wheat, barley and rye.
-free and therefore any licensed medications that contain wheat starch are suitable for people with coeliac diseaseA condition where a person is unable to eat gluten as it makes their body attack itself.
If buying a medicine, which has not been prescribed by your GP, Coeliac UK has been advised that if there is a Product Licence (PL) number on the packet then this would also be gluten-free. This can usually be found either on the packaging or on the patient information leaflet.
Sometimes medications can cause side effects that are similar to symptoms that occur after accidentally eating gluten. If you have any unexpected side effects when taking medications we would advise you to speak to your GP.
Prescribed medications should only be taken or stopped under medical advice. Do not stop taking any medication without consulting your GP. For further information about medications you can also speak to your Pharmacist.