Thyroid UK
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Gluten In Cytomel?

From a recent issue of the USA branch of the Alliance for Natural Health newsletter. PR

"Hypothyroid patients, take note: your medicine might now include gluten as an ingredient. A representative from Pfizer has said that the source of the starch in Cytomel cannot be verified and could come from corn, potato, or wheat."

The information came from Dr. Wentz's (PharmD) website which has a rundown on what is in the various brands.

3 Replies

I was given Pfitzer cytomel by my local Boots instead of my usual Perrigo.

I was so ill I thought I had a serious disease until I read the post by Dr. Wentz and realised there is gluten in the tablets. I am gluten intolerant. I believe Dr. Wentz has been in touch with Pfitzer about this as she is also gluten intolerant or even celiac, can't remember. Spoke to Boots about them changing my tablets without note and they apologised.



I have been in repeated communication with Pfizer customer service about this. Pfizer claims they have continued the practice of King Pharmaceuticals (Pfizer bought King) in using corn starch as the starch ingredient that binds the tablets. (King had sent me a letter in 2010 stating that their product is gluten-free.) Pfizer claims they have never used wheat starch. However some people with Hashi's hypothyroidism are also intolerant of corn. It has been suggested by others with a possible reaction to Cytomel, that Pfizer should be using a low-allergenic starch (potato, tapioca, etc.) but I do not know if these alternative starches have the glue-like properties required to bind a tablet together. My suggestion is that patients call Pfizer 1-800-TRY-FIRST, state their experience with the product, and make a suggestion that Pfizer try to use a starch that is less allergenic than wheat/barley/rye or corn.


I cannot understand why legislation which applies to food labelling, which mandates moderately clear labelling of certain potential allergens, doesn't automatically and universally apply to medicines. And be even more fussy and specific.

With hindsight, it is obvious that the wording should have said something like "substances for human consumption" rather than "food and drink".

We still need to tackle the issue of alcoholic drinks manufacturers driving a coach and horses through everything and getting away with blatant couldn't care less attitudes towards their customers.


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