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What factors go into determining the permissibility of taking a pill on Yom Kippur when there is no chance the patient will die if they fail to take the pill for 25 hours?

The case here is not one of Safek Pikuach Nefesh, however the doctor would prefer that the pill not be skipped but he would not be prepared to say that there is any actual Pikuach Nefesh involved.

A person I was talking to insisted that the pill is too insignificant and non-food and there is no problem dry-swallowing a pill that is needed for health. I was a bit hesitant that the heter is so clear.

So what are the underlying Halachic considerations here?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Halachipedia suggests:

A person who is a Choleh SheEin Bo skana is permissible to take medicine on Yom Kippur if it doesn’t have a good taste. If one needs to have it with liquid one should have mouthwash.

The footnote for the above links to Rav Schachter's shiur Halachot of Yamim Nora'im.

My own opinion on the above quote - I don't recommend swallowing Listerine or the like, as that would cause more harm. I think by "mouthwash" they meant salt water or baking soda water.

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Vinegar? I've always heard that water is mutar for medecine. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 6 '14 at 21:58
Thanks. I listened to the part of the shiur that they referenced. He says "a little bit of mouthwash won't kill anybody." He seems to mean Listerine or its cousins. – Yishai Aug 6 '14 at 21:58
@Yishai - Hmmm ... find out something new, I guess. I'd recommend the normal "yellow" Listerine as that tastes awful. The others are somewhat tolerable, though I can't say I've had a swig of any of them :-) – DanF Aug 6 '14 at 22:05
@DanF I believe Rabbi Belsky rules that all but the original Listerine (which he calls "brown") are not permitted for use because of their (potentially non-kosher) glycerine content - which is what also makes them tolerable.) – Loewian Jul 28 '15 at 3:07
@Loewian One of many opinions regarding the use of non-kosher ingredients in medicines. I don't have sources before me, but a number of rabbanim I've spoken to have told me that I can take fish oil for my health since my doctor has recommended it for me. My "skanah" level is not imminent - it's preventative. They all recommended a kosjer brand, but allowed a leniency on a non-kosher brand since the capsule is not derech achila. Sounds to me like similar logic would apply to the flavored Listerine. It's not achila (eating / drinking). I'll see if I can locate a supporting source. – DanF Jul 28 '15 at 13:17

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