If someone has a sore throat on a fast day (excluding yom kippur) may he suck on a throat lozenge (Ricola)* or do we consider that breaking the fast?

*throat lozenge has flavor and one needs to make a bracha, but it is definitely not a shiur kzayis, especially the time it takes to consume the whole lozenge.

  • Why should it be different than any other sucking candy?
    – Loewian
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 15:06
  • The question asks about Ricola which is unmedicated. Is the question meant for medicated lozenges (and wouldn't then the issue be the taking of any medicine on a fast)?
    – rosends
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 15:22
  • @rosends I don't think so. AFAIK all Ricola and throat loznges are flavored. I think he's asking about all throat lozenges or any medicine that has flavoring. AFAIK, swallowing pills (i.e., not chewing them) is not an issue on a fast day; even Yom Kippur. Taking water with the pill is a separate discussion.
    – DanF
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


From this article:

Taking Listerine pocket packs® (that have a hechsher) is not permitted on a fast day since one swallows the liquid which melts in the mouth. (All year-round a shehakol should be recited on them. Many people are un-aware of this and they should be told).107

While the purpose of the Listerine is not refuah, the ingestion method is similar to a throat lozenge. Like Listerine, the throat lozenge has flavor, it melts in your mouth, and you are swallowing the melted sugar liquid. Note that in the citation, it states the necessity of saying a bracha on Listerine, similar to what you indicated with the throat lozenge. So, it seems that they are definitely considered "food".

If a doctor specifically told you that you MUST take the lozenge (I'd be surprised, as you could probably accomplish relieving the sore throat by swallowing a pill or some other permitted fast day method), then there MIGHT be a heter for doing this.

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