For Birth control pills
The FDA says: “Based on information available to the Agency, we are aware of no oral drug products currently marketed in the United States that contain wheat gluten or wheat flour intentionally added as an inactive ingredient.”
Some drugs may contain Starch. Often it is corn starch or potato starch, not wheat starch.
Gluten-free or processed so gluten remaining is unlikely:
- Pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate: derived from corn, potato, rice, or wheat but chemically processed so gluten remaining is unlikely
- Starch alcohols (xylitol, maltitol, and mannitol): some are derived from wheat but they are purified to no longer contain gluten
- Dextrans, dextrose: derived from corn and potato starch = NO gluten.
- Dextrates, dextrins: derived from any starch source so call the manufacturer to confirm if gluten is included or not.
The FDA stated they do not collect data about gluten contamination. “The amount of gluten would be well below the levels we have estimated an inactive ingredient, such as wheat starch, could potentially contribute to an oral drug product”. If wheat happens to be an impurity in a drug listed as gluten-free, the FDA estimates that it could contain no more than 0.5 mg of gluten per pill (for reference, a slice of bread labeled ‘gluten-free’ may contain up to 0.57 mg of gluten and still meet FDA criteria for being considered gluten-free).
The FDA also says: “If the list of ingredients does not mention wheat gluten or wheat flour, then the product should not contain gluten in an amount that would harm a typical (non-refractory) individual with celiac disease”
Other birth control options that do not include gluten:
birth control patch, birth control ring, birth control shot, IUD with hormone, copper IUD, birth control implant, condoms, spermicide.