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Pesach Faqs

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Coated Pills

It says on your website that one can take any pill medication that is swallowed. Does that include coated pills such as Advil? Most pills which one swallows are coated with a glaze, wax or shellac which makes the pills easier to swallow, and some of these coatings have some form of simple sugar (e.g. sucrose) mixed in to make it even more pleasant to swallow the pill. None of these ingredients pose a Pesach concern. Once in a while a pills is coated with sweeteners which are Pesach sensitive (e.g. sorbitol or mannitol) or which contain a flavor; such items would be listed as one of the inactive ingredients, and we would not recommend those for Pesach. [This occurs so infrequently, that our general recommendation remains that all pills are permitted.] An example of this issue is the Advil brand family of tablets and caplets. The (inactive) ingredient panel of the standard Advil tablets shows that they contain pharmaceutical glaze (i.e. shellac) and sucrose, and one who swallows an Advil pill notices that they have a more pleasant/sweet taste than pills coated with a non-sweetened coating. These do not pose a Pesach concern. However, the ingredient panel on the "Film-Coated" Advil tablets and caplets indicates that its coating contains mannitol and a flavor, and that variety is therefore not recommended.