HealthDay News — Pharmacists should counsel Muslim patients who fast during Ramadan with respect to their medications and adjusting their medication regimen, according to an article published in Drug Topics.

Muslims who observe the fast of Ramadan will refrain from consuming anything by mouth between dawn and sunset, including oral medications. Pharmacists can counsel their patients by recommending medication adjustments and discussing ways to avoid the potential hazards associated with fasting.

According to the article, the fast can be particularly challenging for people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends against prolonged fasting for those with multiple complications of diabetes. Patients should measure glucose before, during, and after fasting, and should be aware of the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar. Pharmacists can suggest adjustments for medications that should be taken several times a day, or that are affected by food and drink intake, and in the timing for once-daily medications. In order to prevent dehydration, patients should consume enough water before and after fasting. Too much activity should be avoided, as well as exposure to the sun and high temperatures.

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“It is important for pharmacists to ask patients if they are considering fasting and engage in the conversation about safety and necessary adjustments, rather than restricting their intervention to patients who ask,” Wasem Alsabbagh, Ph.D., from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said in the article.

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