AOECS: Position statement on drugs, hygiene products and cosmetics

Drugs, Cosmetics, Hygiene products

The Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS) has recently published a very important statement clearly highlighting its position on drugs, hygiene products and cosmetics.

Since the Association is affiliated to AOECS, the Committee felt the need to communicate AOECS’s position statement to its members.

Coeliacs can safely take all the drugs on the European market.

The European Pharmacopoeia in fact poses a limit to the total protein content of wheat starch present as excipient in drugs. The maximum total protein content is 0.3% (3.000 ppm) which correlates to the gluten content to be no more than 100 ppm.



The maximum quantity of gluten in drugs for oral use is therefore limited by this provision and it is completely harmless for the celiac taking into account the relatively small amount (weight) of medicinal products consumed daily.

All drugs can therefore be considered safe and suitable for people with celiac disease, except in cases of individual hypersensitivity that should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

See also: EMA: Wheat starch (containing gluten) used as an excipient

As regards to materials that come in contact with the skin and mucosae including drugs, hygiene products and cosmetics, these are not a problem for coeliacs and Herpetiform Dermatitis patients even if containing gluten. Gluten in fact triggers an adverse reaction in coeliacs only when it comes in contact with the bowel.

Also, toothpaste and lipsticks are safe for coeliacs, even if containing gluten, taking into account the very small amount (traces) of products that could be ingested.

According to the European Licensing System, the Crossed Grain Trademark cannot be licensed to drugs, cosmetics and hygiene products.