Is Zyrtec gluten-free? That is a good question and one I’ve asked many times over.
You can inspect the Zyrtec ingredient list (see below) – but you’ll be at a loss. What in the world is polyethylene glycol and is it gluten-free? I have no clue!
I also don’t know how Zyrtec is manufactured and if cross-contamination is an issue during the manufacturing process.
Unfortunately, Zyrtec is not labeled gluten-free, and you can’t find any information about whether or not it’s gluten-free on its website. Pretty strange if you ask me – especially for an allergy company. Do you see the irony (an allergy company can’t tell me for sure if there are food allergens in its medication)?
So I emailed the company.
Here’s what I wrote:
I use Zyrtec and just wanted to know if your product is gluten-free? I have celiac disease and use your products daily.
Can you also direct me to where this information (and other allergy ingredient information) might be online for others to reference quickly for Zyrtec and other medications you make? I figured as a company that provides allergy relief you might have this information available for people with food allergies too.
And this is Johnson and Johnson’s reply:
We appreciate your taking the time out of your day to contact us here at Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc. regarding our Zyrtec® products.
We are glad to hear that you are a dedicated user of our products, Jenny! Although we don’t add gluten or gluten containing grains to our products, we cannot confirm that the product or any ingredients in Zyrtec® products or other over the counter products are gluten free. Your safety is of great concern to us; therefore, we strongly recommend that you first consult your doctor before using any product if you have a form of gluten intolerance or sensitivity.
Jenny, thank you again for your email. If you have any other comments or questions about our products, please contact us through our website www.zyrtec.com or by phone 1-800-223-0182. Our specialists are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., ET and it will be a pleasure to hear from you.
Wishing you well,
Consumer Care Center
So basically what Mariah is telling me is that Johnson and Johnson doesn’t know for sure if Zyrtec is gluten-free (ridiculous!), and that I should ask my doctor what to do (as if my doctor knows if there’s gluten in Zyrtec or any of medication for that matter. News flash – doctor’s don’t know and it’s not their job to know, it’s Johnson and Johnson’s job to know!)
Like I said before, does anyone else see the irony in all of this? A company that treats allergies can’t tell me with certainty if the ingredients are free from allergens. It frustrates, angers and disgusts me.Why can't @Zyrtec, a company that makes allergy medication, tell us if its products are free from allergen, gluten?!Click To Tweet
Nima Sensor to the Rescue!
So I decided to take matters into my own hands and use the Nima Sensor to answer this question, “Is Zyrtec Gluten-Free?,” once and for all!
In case you’re not familiar with it, the Nima Sensor is a nifty little gadget that allows you to test a pea-sized amount of a food product for gluten. The sensor will give you a wheat sign if gluten is present, and a smiley face if it’s gluten-free (or contains less than 20 ppm of gluten, which is the FDA requirement to be considered gluten-free). You can purchase the device on the Nima website and then you also need to purchase refill testing capsules each month.
The gadget is a little pricey ($279 for a starter kit) + $59.95 for 12 capsule refills per month, but it can be a lifesaver when you go out to eat and want to know if your food is really safe. Hopefully the price will come down soon, too.
I think of Nima as just another measure you can take to make sure you don’t end up getting glutened. It does have some limitations, however, because you only test a small sample of the food (not the entire dish). It is not a replacement for common sense, checking products with manufacturers and asking your waiter a lot of questions about how your food is prepared.
Before I show you the results, I want to list a few important disclaimers:
- I am not a doctor nor do I dispense medical advice.
- Just because a test comes back positive doesn’t mean all Zyrtec is gluten-free – see below for more information on this.
- I went rogue on the Nima Sensor and tested medication, even though the device “hasn’t been validated” for testing on non-food products, like medicine. I technically eat Zyrtec, so went for it!
- The folks at Nima Sensor sent me a sample kit to test – I have to return it (grrr!!) – but they did send it to me to play with free of charge for a week.
So Is Zyrtec Gluten-Free?
So I put the tablet in the testing capsule and then placed it inside the cute little Nima Sensor.
It was making all sorts of gurgling and crushing sounds… and in about three minutes… I got a smiley face. I just love when Nima smiles at me.
So, according to the Nima Sensor, the Zyrtec tablet I tested is indeed gluten-free. What a relief!!
Now back to my frustration….
I think this little Nima Sensor may be smarter than all the people behind the scenes at Johnson & Johnson, a$65 billion dollar company. Zyrtec is one of the most popular and successful antihistamine medications ever for Johnson & Johnson, yet, all this brain power can’t figure out the importance of getting its products properly made and tested to ensure they don’t contain gluten (and other “allergens” such as dairy, peanuts and shellfish for that matter!).@JNJNews is a $65 billion co but can't figure out how to create & test @zyrtec to ensure it's gluten-free. Ironic!Click To Tweet
Johnson & Johnson – if you’re reading this – please please please make sure the ingredients you use in your medication are allergen-free (you do make allergy medication after all) and please make this kind of information more easily available on your product labels and websites.
At least the Nima Sensor has our back (sort of, still trying to understand why Nima isn’t “validated” on medication).
Oh, and I Nima tested three other products you might be enjoying at your Memorial Day BBQs this weekend. In this Facebook Live video below, you’ll find out if Heinz ketchup is gluten-free, if French’s mustard is gluten-free, and finally, if Doritos are gluten-free. Both Heinz and French’s say “gluten-free” on the label, but Doritos doesn’t… but what did Nima have to say? #NimaTested
P.S. Please like Good For You Gluten Free on Facebook so you can watch my Facebook Live videos as they happen!
P.P.S. What else do you want me to test with my Nima device? Read more about the Nima Sensor here.