Ramadan and tuberculosis

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Fasting in the month of Ramadan is compulsory for all healthy adult Muslims on reaching puberty. It is a total fast, with complete abstinence from both food and drink.

I take tuberculosis medication, can I fast?

It is not possible to fast when you are receiving tuberculosis (TB) treatment. TB drugs need to be taken regularly, following directly observed treatment guidelines. Some of the TB drugs need to be taken with food, i.e. they should not be taken when stomach is empty. If the stomach is empty, drugs won’t absorb, and hence will not be effective. If TB drug treatment is not completed, it will lead to situation where resistance to the medication will develop. If this happens, TB treatment will become very difficult and the chances of cure narrow down. For this reason the advice is to move the fasting. It can be done once TB treatment is completed.

How can I make up for the fast?

When someone cannot fast in Ramadan, they can make up for the lost days afterwards. If one can’t make up the lost days afterwards (for example, because of ill health or pregnancy), then they can pay (fidya) for someone else to be fed.

Printable versions in different languages

English: Ramadan and tuberculosis treatment

Arabic: رمضان وعلاج السل

Somali: Ramadaanka iyo daryeelka qaaxada (tiibishada)