Posted on: 6 March 2024

With Ramadan approaching we’re sharing advice on managing your medication. 

People who have chronic illnesses are exempt from fasting during Ramadan. However, some may still choose to fast and modify their treatment and medications around the day.

It is important to get advice from healthcare professionals on managing your medication, if you plan to fast, to make sure there is no risk to your health. All medications will need to be assessed, as some medications may be affected by sudden changes in the quantity of food and fluid consumed, such as when fasting. For example, you can become dehydrated when taking lithium and a lack of fluid intake.

Short term illness and fasting

People who experience acute or short-term ill health are exempt from fasting on the days they are ill in Ramadan. These days may be substituted by the same number of days in any other month of the year before the following Ramadan, if they are able. Some medications can be taken during the fasting hours and will not break the individual’s fast. These include paracetamol suppositories, intramuscular longacting antipsychotic injections, inhalers or nebulisers and oxygen to aid breathing. If a medication can provide nourishment (such as glucagon/glucose in any formulation) or is a medication that needs to be taken with fluid such as water (for example, tablets or capsules) then that would break the fast.