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Medications on Pesach

What should one do if their medicine is not listed on the Kosher L’Pesach list?

If someone has a potentially life-threatening  condition e.g. hypertension, diabetes, infection, asthma, stroke risk, cancer, psychiatric condition, etc. the Poskim maintain that one must take all their regular medication, whether its a pill, liquid or chewable.

As far as owning the medicine, if it is nifsal m’achilas adam (unfit for human consumption) and it is just a mixture, there is no issue of bal yerae.  If it is a syrup or chewable tablet, one should consult a Rav as to the best way to minimize the problem of owning Chometz on Pesach.

All prescription medication in the pill form may be taken as usual even for a choleh she’ein bo sakana. [i.e. One who is bedridden, in debilitating pain, young children with any type of illness or discomfort, or other such illnesses that are not life threatening.]

For liquid and chewable medication, one should obtain an alternative that’s approved for Pesach. If there is merely an issue of kitniyos, liquids and chewables are also permitted.

It is important not to discontinue taking any prescription medications including liquid or chewable, without consulting your doctor and Rav.

Medications for a mere meichush – slight discomfort – or vitamins and prenatals taken by a healthy person, should be from the Kosher L’Pesach list. Even though Chometz in the pill form is inedible, which is usually permissible; if it is intended for consumption it regains its importance and is forbidden “achshevei”. While there is a debate whether this applies to medicines as well, it is best to avoid this issue by finding an alternative from the Kosher L’Pesach list. If the only issue is kitniyos, one can be lenient if it is battel b’rov.

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