By Rabbi Sholem Fishbane
Kashrus Administrator of the Chicago Rabbinical Council
cRc’s Recommended Over The Counter Medicines
The following are general guidelines for the consumption of over the counter medications. [For more details and sources, see our article at http://bit.ly/KosherOTC, starting on the second page].
- Pill medications that one swallows are permitted even if they contain non-kosher ingredients. Two exceptions to that rule are:
- Vitamins – In most cases vitamins do not qualify as medicine, and instead are treated as food supplements which require hashgachah. If a doctor prescribes a specific vitamin which is not kosher certified, please review your specific situation with your doctor and Rabbi.
- Gelcaps – Gelcaps (hard or soft) should only be taken by someone who is ill and does not have any alternative medicine that is free of kashrus concerns.
- Liquid and chewable medication that contains kosher-sensitive ingredients should only be used under the direction of a doctor and Rabbi, who will judge the severity of the illness, the likelihood that the medicine is non-kosher, and the possibility of substituting an alternative which is free of kashrus concerns.
- HaRav Schwartz, the Av Beis Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, is of the opinion is that mouthwash and toothpaste do not require kosher certification but it is preferred to use a kosher variety. The mouthwashes listed below are known to be kosher at this time, and the toothpastes listed are free of glycerin.
- Please consult your Rabbi for the laws of taking medicine on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
- Do not discontinue the use of any medicine without consulting with your doctor and Rabbi.
- This list is for year round use and does not include information for Pesach.
- This information on this list is updated regularly. This edition should not be used after December 31, 2011.
- Note: The following list of recommended OTC medicines is condensed from a more complete listing of recommended and not-recommended OTC medicines which is updated daily and can be found on the cRc website at http://www.crcweb.org/OTCMedicineReport.pdf
Alavert, Orally Disintegrating Tablet (assorted flavors)
Benadryl, Children’s allergy fast melt – Cherry & Grape
Claritin, Childrens Chewable
Zyrtec, Children’s allergy bubblegum sugar & dye free
Cold, Flu & Cough
Delsym, Liquid Cough Suppressant
Mucinex, Childrens Mini Melts
Nyquil, Nyquil/Dayquil Plus Vitamin C Caplets
Thera-Flu, Flu and Sore Throat Powder
Thera-Flu, Max-D Severe Cold & Flu Powder
Thera-Flu, Nighttime/Daytime Severe Cold and Cough Powder
Thera-Flu, Sinus and Cold Powder
Vicks 44, Custom Care Dry Cough Liquid and Chesty Cough Liquid
Zycam, Nasal Spray
Zycam, Rapid Melt Tablets
Zycam, Rapid Melt Tablets with Vitamin C
Lofthouses, Fisherman’s Friend Cough Suppressant Lozenges
Ricola Regular – Honey Herb, Honey Lemon with Echinacea, Lemon Mint, Lemon Verbena, Natural Herb (original)
Ricola Sugar Free – Green Tea with Echinacea, Lemon Mint, Menthol, Mountain Herb
Epsom Salt, Generic or Branded versions
Generic, Mineral Oil (pure)
Imodium AD, Caplets
Imodium AD, EZ Chews Cool Mint Tablets
Imodium AD, Multisymptom Relief Caplets
Kaopectate, Extra Peppermint (Liquid)
Kaopectate, Vanilla Regular Flavor (Liquid)
Konsyl, Psyllium Hydrophilic Mucilloid (Powder)
Metamucil, Clear and Natural (Powder)
Metamucil, Original Coarse Powder
Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Caplets
Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Original Liquid (unflavored)
Polyethylene Glycol, Generic or Branded versions (powder)
Alka Seltzer, Original Effervescent Tabs
Nicoderm CQ, Patch
Simply Thick, Powder
Tylenol, Extra Strength Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer Adult (cherry flavor-liquid)
Mouth Pain Relief
Kanka, Mouth-pain Liquid
Orajel, Maximum Strength Mouth Sores (Gel)
Orajel, Maximum Strength Toothache (Gel)
Orajel, Severe Toothache (Gel)
AIM, Multi Benefit Ultra Mint Gel
Arm & Hammer, Advanced White Baking Soda and Peroxide
Arm & Hammer, Complete Care Extra Whitening
Arm & Hammer, Peroxi Care Baking Soda and Peroxide
Colgate, Max fresh with Mini Bright Strips Whitening Clean Mint
Colgate, Max Fresh with Mini Bright Strips Whitening Cool Mint
Colgate, Max White with Mini Bright Strips Crystal Mint
Colgate, Mild Bubble Fruit Flavor
Colgate, Triple Action Original Mint
Crest, 3D Vivid
Crest, Cavity Protection Regular Paste
Crest, Extra Whitening with Tartar
Crest, Kids Crest Cavity Protection Sparkle Fun
Crest, Pro Health For Me for Kids 8+
Crest, Tartar Protection Regular Paste
Crest, Whitening Expressions Cinnamon Rush