Medicine Guidelines

  • Caring for Young Children and the Infirm
  • Gluten Allergies
  • Gluten Intolerance, Celiac, Allergies, and Pesach
  • Lactose Intolerant
  • Nutritionals and Dietary Supplements
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Vitamin C

    Guidelines for Medication

    1. You should exercise extreme caution and consult with your doctor and rabbi before making a decision not to take a medicine.

    2. Known and tested medications in the form of creams, non-chewable pills and injections may be owned, used and consumed on Passover, even if they contain chametz or kitniyot, since they are inedible. This covers most medicines used by adults. However, if an equally effective chametz-free alternative is available or procurable, this should be used instead.

    • It is permissible to grind pills and mix the powder into food items so that a child can take medicine on Passover. However, a doctor must be consulted to make sure that the child is getting the correct dosage and that the potency of the pill is not compromised by altering its consistency.

    3. Liquid medicines, chewable pills and pills coated with a flavored glaze are considered palatable and may contain chametz. Also gelcaps may present a problem because they may contain non-kosher edible gelatin. Therefore:

    • If possible, they should be replaced, under the direction of a doctor, with a non-chewable, uncoated pill.
    • If substitution is not possible and the person is in a state of sakana or safek sakana (any possible danger to human life), the medication may be owned and consumed. The same applies if the condition is not yet a safek sakana but may deteriorate to that point. A rabbi should be consulted as to whether it is preferable to purchase the medicine before or during Passover, and as to how to dispose of the medicine once the danger passes.
    • If substitution is not possible and a doctor determines that there is no possibility of sakana if the person does not take the medicine, a rabbi should be consulted. He may be able to determine that the medicine does not contain chametz and/or kitniyot, or he may decide that the medicine may be consumed due to the seriousness of the patient’s condition.

    4. In many cases, medicinal items which contain kitniyot are permitted for people who are ill. Questions on this issue should be directed to your rabbi.

    5. Some of the products may contain minor ingredients that are possibly, though unlikely, produced from chametz-based raw materials. All such ingredients are used at a less than 1:60 ratio.

    6. Liquid versions of these products are preferable to their powdered counterparts.

    7. Products that contain flavors should only be provided when no unflavored alternative exists.

    8. Products should be purchased before Passover and be maintained segregated from Kosher for Passover foods.

    9. These guidelines do not address the more general prohibition of consuming medicines on Shabbat and Yom Tov.

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