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Does Taking Medicine Break A Fast: Expert Guide and Dangers

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Fasting and the Popular Concerns | Intermittent Fasting and Medication | Taking Antibiotics While Intermittent Fasting | Do antibiotics break a fast? | Does taking Vitamins Break A Fast |Thyroid Medication While Fasting

Does taking medicine break a fast? Fasting has seemingly become a popular practice in modern times. More and more health-conscious individuals are incorporating some form of fasting diet into their daily routine. Even medical professionals are prescribing fasting diets to their patients. This sudden spurt in the popularity of fasting diets is due to the health benefits associated with it.

Does Taking Medicine Break a Fast?

Short answer is NO, as long as the medication does not contain significant calories, then it will not break your fast. However, you must understand that medication will alter certain brain and body chemicals that may impact other biological functions.

Research has shown that fasting can be beneficial in dealing with several health-related issues like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, inflammation, etc.

Fasting for people who haven’t tried it before can be very confusing. Understanding what is allowed while fasting and what will invalidate the fast to get the desired results is crucial.

This article will try to understand better the different types of fasting and what kind of medicines and supplements are allowed while fasting.  Let’s dive in the question – does medicine break a fast?

Does Medicine break a fast

Fasting can be defined as a practice where one abstains from food and drink for a set duration; this duration varies, meaning in some cases, it can last for a few hours, whereas, in other types of fasting, it can last for a day. Certain kinds of fasts allow the consumption of certain non-caloric drinks like tea and coffee during the fasting period.

Regarding different types of fasting methods, there are several popular methods such as Eat Stop Eat Intermittent Fasting, OMAD (One Meal A Day) fasts, Alternate-day Fasting, 16:8 Fasting, and Macronutrient Fasting. 

People have all sorts of concerns about fasting and what types of food and drinks to consume while fasting. These are related to whether intermittent fasting lowers metabolism and how successful intermittent fasting is in dealing with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cholesterol, depression, blood pressure, and so on. People also have questions about what food products to have while fasting, whether they can have protein shakes, salt, products like Stevia or Truvia, vitamins, and if they are allowed to have antibiotics or cough medication while fasting.

To answer to your such concerns we’ve created a comprehensive guide with answers to the most common questions about whether or not certain foods break a fast. Read the complete article here – What Breaks A Fast? All You Need To Know On Intermittent Fasting Drinks.  Keep reading to find out, does taking medicine beak a fast.

medication intermittent fasting

Intermittent Fasting and Medication

The answer to – does medicine break a fast? – is to be taken with a pinch of salt! 

Medications generally have certain dosage instructions and side effects attached to them; hence, it is imperative to understand better which medicines are allowed while fasting and which ones should be avoided. 

But the question is, does taking medication break intermittent fasting?

No, since you can always schedule and align your medication during the eating window, it does not break a fast.

More than breaking a fast, some medicines might have adverse effects if consumed on an empty stomach. In some cases, doctors specifically advise that some medications must not be taken on an empty stomach, as they might cause some gastrointestinal problems.

Over The Counter (OTC) Medication while Fasting 

Medicines like Ibuprofen and naproxen fall into the “non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs” NSAID category and are generally used to relieve pain and inflammation. 

does ibuprofin advil break a fast

Hence the following questions might arise: Does Advil break a fast? Does ibuprofen break a fast, or does Benadryl break a fast?

These medicines do not have any carbohydrates or calories; hence they will not break the fast, but it is essential to understand that these drugs have certain side effects like digestive issues, nausea, and diarrhea. In some cases, these can cause stomach ulcers. Hence, it is advised that they should be taken with some food that minimizes the side effects mentioned above. 

So although medicines like Ibuprofen, naproxen, Benadryl, and other OTC medication will technically not break the fast, it is generally not advised to consume such drugs while fasting as it may lead to severe gastrointestinal side effects.

Tylenol also belongs to the NSAID group of medicines, but its side effects are much less pronounced and hence can be taken while fasting to relieve minor headaches or body pains.

So the answer to the question, does Tylenol Break a Fast is simply a no, and it can be taken while fasting to relieve body pain and minor headaches. 

Taking Antibiotics While Intermittent Fasting

does taking medicine break a fast

Do antibiotics break a fast?

In the case of antibiotics, we have to understand that antibiotics are generally prescribed when a person is dealing with some sort of infection; taking antibiotics during this state can be very harmful on an empty stomach, as it can destroy the natural gut bacteria and in some cases damage the stomach lining.

Taking an antibiotic while performing a short fast is generally acceptable as it will not trigger a blood sugar spike and invalidate the fast. But if one keeps a longer duration fast (ex: Alternate-day fast), taking antibiotics while fasting may cause certain gastrointestinal side effects.

Diabetes Medication – Does Taking medicine break a fast?

does medicine break a fast

Diabetes medications generally work in two distinct ways. Some diabetic drugs lower blood sugar levels, whereas some stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin.

While fasting, our blood sugar levels are naturally lowered. In this state, taking diabetic medication, which further reduces the blood sugar levels, can be extremely harmful, causing severe complications like seizures, etc.  

Diabetic medications like glipizide and glimepiride stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin. So our blood insulin level might get affected while fasting. Hence, it is advised to consult a doctor and lower the dose of such medicines while fasting.

Metformin is another very common diabetic medication. Since it does not itself lower blood sugar levels and contains no calories, it is perfectly safe to consume while fasting. But it must be mentioned that Metformin, like other NSAID medications, also tends to cause gastrointestinal side effects if consumed while fasting.

Discussing your fasting routine and medications with your doctor is essential to avoid any adverse effects. 

Thyroid Medication While Fasting

Levothyroxine is a widely popular medicine that is mainly used to treat hypothyroidism. Most healthcare professionals suggest that thyroid medication should be taken in a fast state. Some studies indicate that thyroxine is better absorbed during a fasted state and the absorption rate decreases in a fed state. 

Also, Levothyroxine as medicine has zero calories and will not trigger an insulin spike. Hence, taking thyroid medications while fasting is okay as it will not break the fast and help better absorb the thyroxine. 

does taking medicine break a fast

Does taking Vitamins Break A Fast?

Typically NO, Fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamins A, D, E, and K and multivitamins like Omega 3 have no caloric value, meaning they do not break the fast if taken while fasting.

Vitamins are generally of two types, fat-soluble and water-soluble.

However, taking these vitamins on an empty stomach is not advised since they are fat-soluble, and the body needs some organic fats to break down and absorb them. So, it is better to take these vitamin supplements with food items. 

Water-soluble Vitamins like vitamins C and D have zero calories. They will not invalidate the fast if consumed during a fasting window, although some water-soluble vitamin supplements might cause nausea if consumed on an empty stomach.

During extended fasting periods, many stored fats and carbohydrates in the cells are metabolized to produce energy to perform the body’s necessary functions. This process uses up all the stored water in the cells, which leads to dehydration and nausea. The body also loses a lot of essential nutrients like sodium and potassium; hence it is advised to consume electrolytes that contain these nutrients.

Although multivitamins and supplements may claim to be calorie-free, not all of their ingredients are suitable for breaking your fast. To know more read- Do Vitamins Break A Fast: All You Need To Know

Conclusion – Does taking medicine break a fast?

does taking medicine beak a fast?

NO, as long as the medication does not contain significant calories, then it will not break your fast. – you should know that although some medicines and vitamins can be consumed in a fasting state, it is generally advised to avoid them. 

Remember, certain medications are required to take WITH FOOD. So always consult with your doctor. Be sure to stay hydrated if taking medications while fasting as well.

Most medicines won’t invalidate the fast if consumed while fasting, but the side effects might get exacerbated. Hence, it is better to talk to a medical professional before taking any such medication while fasting.

Also need help fasting? Check out the Best Intermittent Fasting Mobile Apps we recommend to help you on your journey.

I recommend starting here to learn more about these types of fasting which are the MOST popular, starting with 16/8 Fasting, click on these guides below to learn more:
16/8 Fasting Guide, 14/10 Fasting Guide18/6 Fasting GuideOne Meal a Day Guide.

Need Help choosing food and meals while intermittent fasting, try one of our Intermittent Fasting Meal Plans, you can choose based on your diet.

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