GUIDELINES FOR MEDICINES CHECKED FOR PASSOVER 2013
The Kashrut Authority has again this year investigated a large range of prescription medicines. While there are leniencies for certain oral medicines on Pesach (as outlined below in paragraph #3), the Jewish People - "Holy and Pure" have customarily tried to avoid using leniencies with oral medications on Pesach when at all possible. As such they have always tried to use oral medications that are Chametz free. This is especially the case when treating a mild malady such as a headache or a cold.
Furthermore, even in the case of more serious illnesses there are many medications that have a chametz free identical substitute. However, even in cases where a substitute may be available, the substitution must not be done by the patient alone, but must at all times be done under the guidance
of their medical practitioner and/or pharmacist.
The following are general guidelines for the use of medicines on Pesach:
1. Medications for any serious condition such as (G-d forbid) cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, mental illness or epilepsy must not be changed or substituted without full permission of your medical practitioner.
2. All medications if possible, should be purchased before Pesach.
3. All medications that are in non-chewable, otherwise inedible, capsules or tablets -are acceptable.
4. All inedible topical medications (creams, ointments, sprays & lotions) and suppositories are acceptable.
5. All ‘puffers’ (inhalers/turbohalers) that are inedible or have an unpleasant taste are acceptable.
6. All nasal sprays that are inedible or have an unpleasant taste are acceptable.
7. All eye drops and/or ear drops that are inedible or have an unpleasant taste are acceptable.
8. Medicines applied to the gums, lips or teeth that are inedible ,but have a pleasant taste, should preferably be Chametz free however if there is no Chametz free substitute they are permissible.
9. Liquid medicines, chewable pills, and pills coated with a flavoured glaze are all edible and may contain Chametz. Therefore:
a. If they do contain Chametz, if at all possible, they should be replaced - under the direction of a doctor or pharmacist - with a Chametz free suitable substitute from the list; if no substitute from the list is available then they should be replaced with a non-chewable, uncoated pill as per 3 above or placed in an empty gelatine capsule (available from a chemist).
b. If substitution or any of the above solutions are not possible and the person is in a state of sakanah or safek sakanah (any possible danger to human life), they may own and consume the medication. The same applies if the condition is not yet a safek sakanah but may deteriorate. Your local rabbi or the KA should be consulted as to whether it is preferable to
purchase the medicine before or on Pesach, and as to how to dispose of the medicine once the danger passes.
c. If substitution is not possible and a doctor determines that there is no possibility of sakana if the person does not take the medicine, your local rabbi or the KA should be consulted.
The KA may be able to determine that the medicine does not contain Chametz or may be able to decide that the medicine may be consumed due to the seriousness of the patient’s condition.
10. It is advised, in the case of ALL medicines to be particularly careful to keep spoon, medicine cup, etc., completely separate from Passover dishes.
Rabbi Gutnick has access to a large database of medications and their ingredients and is available to assist in any “shaala” relating to medication on Pesach. He may be contacted by calling 0411 757372, or preferably via email to
or SMS to 0411 757372. Put in the subject of the email in capitals URGENT MEDICINE QUESTION or begin the SMS with the same words in capitals URGENT MEDICINE QUESTION.
In the compilation of this list the following general rules have been used:
1. Kitniyot is permitted in medications.
2. Products are declared P only when we have sufficient information to declare the medicine chametz free.
3. Products are declared CH if they contain ingredients that are chametz or may be chametz.
4. Products are declared PB when they contain only a minute amount of chametz ingredient that is nullified. While there is halachic discussion as to whether nullification applies in the case of even minute ingredients that are part of a specific formula - there are never the less grounds to be lenient in the case of a medication and certainly in the case of a medication that is inedible or comes in capsule form even for one who is machmir..
CH: Contains chametz or possible chametz.
P: Chametz free
PB: Contains chametz in amounts that are nullified.
“We give our heartfelt thanks to the staff of Gaslight Pharmacy for their invaluable assistance in the compilation of this list”
click here to download the medicine list