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The following are general guidelines for the consumption of over the counter medications. [For more details and sources, see our article in Sappirim 16, starting on the second page, and our FAQ page].
1. Do not discontinue the use of any medicine without consulting with your doctor and Rabbi.
2. Pill medications that one swallows are permitted even if they contain non-kosher ingredients. Two exceptions to that rule are:
Vitamins – In most cases, vitamins do not qualify as medicine, and instead are treated as food supplements which require hashgachah. If a doctor prescribes a specific vitamin which is not kosher certified, please review your specific situation with your doctor and Rabbi. An exception is that multivitamins and prenatal multivitamins which are in tablet form are acceptable even if they are not kosher-certified. This exception does not apply to (a) Pesach, (b) similar products in chewable, liquid, or gelcap, or (c) tablets with just one or two vitamins in them.
Gelcaps – Gelcaps (hard or soft) should only be taken by someone who is ill and does not have any alternative medicine that is free of kashrus concerns.
3. Liquid and chewable medication that contains kosher-sensitive ingredients should only be used under the direction of a doctor and Rabbi, who will judge the severity of the illness, the likelihood that the medicine is non-kosher, and the possibility of substituting an alternative which is free of kashrus concerns.
4. Please consult your Rabbi for the laws of taking medicine on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
5. This list is for year round use and does not include information for Pesach.
6. This list is updated regularly and should be considered accurate until December 31, 2023.