FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY PATIENTS DURING RAMADAN
Can I use an Inhaler during fasting?
There is mixed opinion on this, some scholars say that the use of inhalers will invalidate the fast and this must be made up later, while other scholars state that this is permissible as it is not eating or drinking, or providing nutrition.
If you are requiring your inhalers often and are unwell, you would be exempt from fasting anyway. It may be possible to change the inhalers to longer-acting varieties if you do not wish to use their inhaler whilst fasting. For further advice, you should contact your local Imam.
Can I swim whilst fasting?
Yes, but avoid swallowing the water.
Can I have a blood test?
Yes, both finger prick and intravenous tests do not invalidate the fast
Can I have a blood transfusion whilst fasting?
No, in this case you would be considered too unwell to fast
Can I fast if I am on antibiotics?
If you are unwell and require antibiotics regularly throughout the day then you would be exempt from fasting, and should make up your fasts at a later date when well.
If the antibiotics are for e.g. acne you may fast and take your antibiotics either before the pre-dawn meal or after the sunset meal.
Do breastfeeding women have to fast?
No, Islamic law exempts women from fasting whilst breastfeeding and they can make these up at a later date.
Can I smoke during fasting?
No, smoking is not permitted. Ramadan is an excellent time to give up smoking and support can be offered at this time.
Can I take tablets, drops, injections or patches whilst fasting?
Tablets are not permitted during the fast. If you do take medications during the day, it is worth consulting with your Doctor to see if your medication regime may be amended
Eye and ear drops are permissible, provided your eardrum has not burst.
Vaginal pessaries and any form of skin patches e.g. Nicotine, are permissible
Rectal suppositories are not allowed
Nasal sprays are not allowed
Injections (IV, IM, SC, epidural) are all permissible, provided they are not for nutritional benefit
Can I fast whilst having dialysis?
Such patients are not advised to fast, and in these cases as they will not be able to fast at a later date, Islamic law states they must give to charity instead, and should consult an Islamic scholar for further advice.
Do nose bleeds invalidate a fast?
No, and if this happens patients do not have to make any fasts up. The fast can only become invalid if such a large amount of bleeding occurs and the patient swallows it.
Can I use mouthwash/gargles
Yes provided nothing is swallowed, it is advisable to rinse the mouth with water following use of these, and to avoid if possible.
Can I have immunisations?
Yes, childhood immunisations and vaccines for travel do not invalidate a fast
Can I use creams and ointments?
Yes, anything where the medication is absorbed through the skin is permissible
Can I use the pill so I do not have a period during Ramadan?
Yes. However, this should be discussed with your Doctor, as depending on which pill you may get some breakthrough pill.
It is also important to remember that Islamic law states that women should not fast when menstruating, and can make the fasts up at a later date.
Can I fast if I have Diabetes or other medical conditions?
The answer to this will vary on the severity of your condition. The safest plan is to discuss your condition and medicine regime with your Doctor who will be able to advise accordingly.