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Gelatin In Medication

Q:

I have been prescribed some medication by my doctor. When I obtained the tablets I found out that they contain gelatine in them. The Phymacist has said the medication cannot be obtained without gelatine as it is a higher strength and in capsule form.

Please can you confirm if I can take them or not?

A:

Question: Gelatin is used in a number of drinks and food items in the West. We do not know that gelatin has been extracted from a vegetable or an animal source; and that if it is from an animal, is it from its bones or from the tissues around the bones; neither do we know if the animal was one that is halãl for us or harãm. Are we allowed to eat such gelatin?

Answer: It is permissible to eat if the doubt is whether it has been extracted from an animal or vegetable. But, if it is known that it was derived from an animal, then it is not permissible to eat without ascertaining that the animal was slaughtered according to sharí‘a. This prohibition applies, as a matter of obligatory precaution, even if it was extracted from animal bones.
Of course, if a chemical change occurs in the original ingredients during the process of manufacturing the gelatin, there is no problem at all in eating it. Similarly, even if one has doubt whether the animal was slaughtered Islamically or not, still there is no problem in adding the gelatin [made from that animal] to the food in such a minute amont that it is completely absorbed in it. -(http://www.sistani.org/english/qa/01178/)
 
In the manufacturing of medicines, the original ingredient usually undergoes a chemical change in which case the gelatin becomes permissible.
 
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