Gluten Free Cold Medications

If you’ve been following me on social media, you know that I just went through a crappy cold/flu that was passed onto me by my loving partner. He was down and out for Valentine’s Day and I thought he was just being a big baby until I got it and I was down and out. I had chills and body aches like you wouldn’t believe, but I didn’t have any fever, and I had my flu shot – and my partner only had a cold. So, I guess my body just took the cold and made me extra miserable because that’s what my immune system does.

UPDATED 2/2019

Gluten-Free Cold and Flu Medication


I tried at first to fight it off using literally everything I could, including Elderberry, zinc, homeopathy too (which by the way, is scientifically proven to only be the placebo effect, but at that point, I was willing to do witchcraft or sacrifices to get rid of this cold) – but it was too great for my body – it overcame me. It was time for the hardcore drugs.

It was time for the stuff they card you for at Walgreens.

Gluten Free Cold Medication

In gluten-free support groups online, I see a lot of questions about gluten free cold medications. Here’s what I use and their gluten-free status.

Is My Cold Medicine Gluten Free?

Where do you go to find out if a medication is gluten-free? Here’s how you know!

  1. Call the manufacturer directly. Keep in mind that they may state something “isn’t gluten-free” just because they can’t determine if there’s gluten in the facility. You should really just be concerned about any gluten in the actual pill itself, usually hidden as a starch. However, keep in mind that if it’s produced here in America, the starch is usually corn or potato over wheat.
  2. Check the website (although, sadly, most don’t address inactive ingredients on their site.
  3. Visit
  4. Visit National Institute of Health’s Pillbox website (note, this is only for pills, not liquid).

Gluten Free Cold Medications

Sudafed is my go-to drug for anything. My sinuses are a train wreck, and during allergy season, I need a lot of this. Am I stoked about the ingredients and the fact that it makes my heart beat so fast it feels like it’s going to explode? No, but I can’t seem to find anything for occasional use that works quite as well as this. Here’s the ingredients: Pseudoephedrine HCI 30 mg, carnauba wax, colloidal silicon dioxide, D&C yellow no. 10 aluminum lake, FD&C red no. 40 aluminum lake, FD&C yellow no. 6 aluminum lake, iron oxide, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, pre-gelatinized starch, shellac, sodium starch glycolate, talc, and titanium dioxide. According to the  gluten-free drugs website, it’s safe – and I’ve never had any celiacs complain about this.

Mucinex makes me feel funny inside. This is powerful stuff, but it also gets the job done. By thinning the mucus trapped inside my sinus cavity and clogging up my ears, it helps decongest me in ways that Sudafed cannot. I only use this stuff for severe colds and flus. And I can’t stop thinking about the cartoon mucus while I’m taking it.

Per the website, Mucinex (liquid and pills) is not formulated with any ingredient containing gluten, but they do not test or certify them to be gluten free, and it’s also listed on as being gluten-free. [BUY MUCINEX ON AMAZON HERE USING MY AFFILIATE LINKS]


Theraflu has a lot of ingredients, so I could understand why you’d be overwhelmed looking at the label. Their inactive ingredients contain items like “flavors” and “pre-gelatinized starch” According to Theraflu (as of a phone call on 2/2019) they do not use gluten in any of their products. According to the brand, they “only uses hypo-allergic ingredients in products,” and that “Theraflu products do not contain gluten as a directly added ingredient, but GSK does not test for gluten, and can’t rule gluten out from third party manufacturing.”

Now, this wasn’t supposed to become a product review, but about 5 days into my cold, DayClear ended up shipping me a bunch of products that were – wait for it, for colds. It was kismet (or just really good timing from their PR team during cold and flu season).

What’s awesome about this product is that it’s free from a lost of nasties that people complain about for regular medication. It’s free from gluten, sugar, alcohol, dye (oh, you mean Mucinex isn’t naturally neon blue???), and acetaminophen. They have a collection of cough, night-time cold and flu, sinus, and allergy. Learn more about DayClear here: I was impressed with the ingredients, and can’t wait to try the allergy relief. I mean, I wish I didn’t have to take any products, but allergy season in Arizona is brutal, even on my prescription medication. [BUY IT HERE ON AMAZON]


Here are some of my favorite things to keep on hand in case the cold or flu hits – all gluten-free too! You can purchase all of these on using my affiliate links!

  • Boogie Wipes – moistened tissue for sensitive and raw noses
  • Sambucol – zinc and elderberry drops
  • Vick’s – non-medicated vapo inhaler

Here’s hoping if you get the cold or flu, it is quick and painless – and that you’re not afraid to help with medication! Do you have any go-to medications for cold and flu?

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Comments: 22

  1. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine February 29, 2016 at 10:07 am Reply

    Any time I feel something coming on, I just DRINK, like double my body weight in water and tea and it usually does the trick!

  2. Amanda February 29, 2016 at 10:44 am Reply

    Great post, I don’t get sick often, but when I do I’m deathly ill. Glad to know that Sudafed and Mucinex are gluten free!

  3. Keeley McGuire February 29, 2016 at 11:24 am Reply

    Very helpful info! I’m a tea drinker too, but sometimes that’s not enough.

  4. jules February 29, 2016 at 11:50 am Reply

    That’s a crack PR team to send you cold meds in the middle of your crazy long bout with a nasty cold. I want what they’re having!!! So glad you’re on the mend, my friend, and hopefully none the worse for the wear. Although it’s crazy that the Mucinex turned your hair blue! Hope that works itself out soon. 😉

  5. Megan February 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm Reply

    Super handy! I’m glad a few big name brands do, so these should be easy to find. Thanks for compilling and hope your cold stays away!

  6. Michelle P February 29, 2016 at 6:50 pm Reply

    I had the Day Clear people send you some stuff. *wink* kidding. What is Jules talking about you have blue hair now? LOL Funny. I got real sick Christmas Day – well that evening. Took me down for about a week. My guy was sick the whole month of December. I too use Mucinex, non drowsy non – sudafed if that makes sense, I can’t take the stuff that makes your heart race. I also had two allergy nasal sprays from my allergist but I learned neither one of them was good enough for my nasty winter cold. I now have the good stuff generic Flonase. I also have been using essential oils. Hope you are better and Happy Leap Day!

  7. Celeste February 29, 2016 at 10:16 pm Reply

    Great info, glad you’re in the clear now and hoping that all this nasty stuff that’s been going around is gone for good (Yay for Spring!!!). DayClear has some uncanny intuition going there haha!

  8. June March 1, 2016 at 7:29 am Reply

    I take Dayquil and NightQuil without any problems. It’s the only thing that keeps me going if I have a cold or flu. And yes, that last cold was horrible!

  9. Carol January 1, 2017 at 12:07 pm Reply

    I try to avoid all of yhe cold meds, unless I am absolutely desperate. My first go to is the good ole netti pot,and a good essential oil for immune support. So far this has worked for me.

  10. Pippy March 8, 2017 at 8:46 am Reply

    Thank you for all this help! It sure is a maze trying to weed though all the phone calls and confusing information out here.

    I had not felt well for a few days, and yesterday I came down with a cold, first one in almost two years. My nose feels like it is going to explode.

    I am a little confused though, when I called the Sudafed company about 3 to 6 months ago, they said that they “do not use gluten in the ingredients, but that cross contamination was possible, gf is not a guarantee”. it is good to know others have used it without trouble.

    In the past and with ok results, i have used the nettipot with salt and cayenne powder, and gargle with it. The cayenne also has killed strep throat for me on occasions (just don’t let it touch your lips, put on some kind of lip balm/oil on them prior to use. it does not burn on the inside but it sure does the trick, however, I might try the day clear! nice to know!

    For now, I will try to tough it out but I may have to try some of that Day and Night Clear!

    Thank you!!!

  11. patricia March 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm Reply

    I called the number on Nyquil and was told it contains wheat. My daughter was very ill after using it!

  12. francie April 24, 2017 at 2:17 pm Reply

    patricia March 19, 2017 at 3:26 pm Reply
    I called the number on Nyquil and was told it contains wheat. My daughter was very ill after using it!

    My kids and I have Celiac Disease. We use Nyquil and Dayquil. I’ve called numerous times and they are gluten free. I’m not sure why they would tell you otherwise.

    • Erica Dermer April 25, 2017 at 6:33 am Reply

      Yes, I use Nyquil all the time and I’ve never been told it contains wheat.

    • Kristen Senior January 29, 2019 at 2:16 pm Reply

      I have CD and I use NyQuil and DayQuil with no issues.

  13. Jeanine m Fields September 27, 2017 at 11:45 am Reply

    I am glad found this, tired of feeling alone!

  14. W. Ancipink January 24, 2018 at 9:34 am Reply

    Just tested Maximum Strength Mucinex Sinus-Max Day on my Nima. It tested positive for “high gluten”.

    • Erica Dermer January 26, 2018 at 10:00 am Reply

      The Nima cannot be used to test medication, unfortunately. The results are not valid.

  15. Christine Janitz December 10, 2018 at 2:20 pm Reply

    Super helpful!! I was just given amoxicillin 500 mg capsule from the manufacturer Teva – i called them and they stated they do not use wheat, barley, rye, malt or oats. She also says they do not rest final product. Doing fine several hours in.

  16. Deb January 7, 2020 at 6:25 am Reply

    Good articles. For my allergies, I only use Telfast from Australia. When I go “home’ for visits I stock up. Might want to see if you can find it. Two of the items you suggested might or might not be gluten free. I have my first, “I’m dying” as my hubby would say cold in years. And tried them, within my allotted time for my gf symptoms they showed up.

  17. Belle September 11, 2020 at 12:16 am Reply

    Does anyone know if children’s NyQuil is gluten free and dairy free? Help!

  18. Dana January 19, 2022 at 9:40 am Reply

    Is DayQuil and NyQuil liquicaps gluten free? I have celiac disease and don’t want to risk it. Please help!

  19. Agnieszka April 26, 2022 at 3:07 pm Reply

    I have celiac disease and I taking DayQuil and NyQuil liquicaps and I don’t have any problem I check a lot of online information and is said is gluten free and many celiac people take without problem plus most of the cold medicine they don’t have clear answer

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