Robitussin Warning: Why it is Important to Double Check - Celiac Disease
Oct 14 2011

Robitussin Warning: Why it is Important to Double Check

It has been a while since I have found a medication that contained gluten.  Maybe it is because I am always using the same medication, or maybe it is because I got a little too comfortable with the medications Jon & I take & have slacked in the department of double checking.  Let this serve as a reminder to us all.

I was browsing Twitter yesterday as I was eating my lunch, when I came across several tweets about some varieties of Robitussin containing gluten.  This is not a medication I normally take, even when I am sick, so it wasn’t on my radar.  I normally consult Gluten-Free Drugs for information on the medications we take, and even that list  had Robitussin listed as “safe”.  It wasn’t until I read Jules’ blog that I found that she had done some leg work and narrowed down the versions that did indeed contain gluten (Thanks, Jules!).

Food & drug companies are notorious for making “new & improved” products.  Even if there was nothing wrong with the old version, they want to increase their sales and market the changes.  This can be a problem.  New & improved can mean ingredient and/or supplier changes.  Never assume that the product is the same as it was the last time you used it, especially if it has been more than a few months or it is a new season (cold & flu, summer allergies, etc).  If a certain cold medication was gluten-free last winter, don’t assume that it still is.  Research.  If you can’t find updated information online, call the company & find out.

I admit it is very easy to get complacent.  I am guilty of it and this can be a dangerous habit to get into.  When we are sick, we just want to feel better.  Taking a medication that contains gluten certainly won’t help in that respect, it will do quite the opposite.

So, let this discovery be a lesson to us all.  If you depend on certain medications to get you through colds, flu, etc, now may do a good time to do some legwork.  If you do some research & make some calls before you are feeling lousy, you will be all set if and when you need that medicine.

Additionally, this has prompted me to call my mail-in pharmacy.  It has been over a year since I have investigated the medications that Jon & I order from them, so they need updated as well.

Do you check  the gluten-free status of your medications regularly?

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. Thanks for a great post, Kim.

  2. Beth Prescott says:

    Thanks for the posting. I am currently trying to find out about Robitussin Chest Congestion (which is just guaifenesin). It has caramel as a listed ingredient, so the old “where did it come from” question arises. Don’t know whether to use it or not. Need to find something soon though.

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