Can You Take Supplements and Medications During Fasting?

Will taking vitamins and meds break my fast? This is a question that often pops up among those who fast. If you’ve ever thought about finding the right strategies to stay on top of your game with this program, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have already incorporated this regimen as part of their daily routine.


Do Supplements and Medications Break Your Fast?

Not all medications and supplements are created equal. Some supplements and vitamins could make a valuable addition to a person’s fasting program, although they might be better absorbed with food. Others, however, are packed with sugar and calories, meaning that they have higher odds of breaking the fast. But, can you take medicine while fasting? 

From a medical standpoint, medicines remain a key aspect of managing a person’s health. But, during Ramadan, for example, taking oral medication is viewed as breaking the fast. If you are taking regular nutritional supplements and medications but want to fast, you would need to consult with a healthcare expert first. With typical fasting regimens, the rules are laxer. [2]


Taking Supplements While Fasting

It’s very unlikely that you will experience a nutrient deficiency while fasting. However, you should eat versatile and highly nutritious foods during your eating windows. But for many, eating healthy remains a difficult challenge. 

As a result, some people opt for supplements to make sure they are getting necessary minerals and vitamins. And that is OK. Many supplements can work in your favor. But there are also those that you should stay away from during a fast. Take a look at the examples below. [3]


Supplements Unlikely to Break a Fast

  • Prebiotics and probiotics – These products are often free of digestible carbs and calories. [4]
  • Multivitamins – Products that have few or no calories and are free of sugar can come in handy.
  • Individual micronutrients – These include B vitamins, vitamin D, and potassium. 


Supplements Very Likely to Break a Fast

  • Protein powders
  • Gummy multivitamins
  • Products rich in cane sugar, calories, pectin, maltodextrin, etc. 


Taking Medications While Fasting

Simple molecules that are readily absorbed, but don’t supply the system with calories, often don’t break fast. But what about water fasting and medication? When taking meds and fasting, it’s important to take three factors into consideration: [5]

  • Medication adjustment
  • Fluid intake
  • Frequency of glucose monitoring 


Adapting your medication treatment during a fast is a complex process. Any diuretics, for instance, like those used in blood pressure treatment, can lead to dehydration and change electrolyte balance when fasting. 

Plus, electrolyte balance changes triggered by fasting could make the adverse effects of some medications worse. So, talk to a specialist, regardless of the drugs you are using. That way, you can always be on the right track.

Generally, medicines not taken by mouth, like inhalations, creams, ointments, suppositories, etc., can be used during a fast. Your doctor will adapt the timing and dosages of the other types of medicine so that you can make the most of your fasting regimen. [6]


  1. PR Newswire. (2020). Intermittent Fasting is Now the #1 Diet in the U.S. and Fast Bar® is the Only Brand Specifically Formulated to Curb Hunger Without Breaking Your Fast. Retrieved from:
  2. Kelly Grindrod. (2017). Managing medications during Ramadan fasting. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from:
  3. Lauren Panoff. (2019). What Breaks a Fast? Foods, Drinks, and Supplements. Retrieved from:
  4. Rasnik K. Singh. (2017). Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health. Journal of Translational Medicine. Retrieved from:
  5. Martin M. Grajower. (2019). Clinical Management of Intermittent Fasting in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from:
  6. State of Israel Ministry of Health. Taking Medicines during a Fast. Retrieved from: