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Not Kosher Medicine

I take a special medicine voluntarily called Creon. It is an enzyme meant to break food down easier in the digestive system. I just found out it is made of pork proteins. Is this assur? Is this relevant to the question concerning gelatin? i am Sephardi who is makpid on Ashkanazi shitos, and I am wondering if that might makes a difference.

Answer:

The question does not specify whether or not the medicine has a taste or not. If it has a taste, then the process of its manufacture would have to be carefully verified: what is the proportion of pork protein in the medicine, and how is it made (if it is broken down first as in the process of preparing gelatin it may be permitted, but this requires careful verification).

However, if the medicine has no taste, and it is not eaten but rather swallowed, then it is permitted to take the medicine provided that it is required for health purposes (meaning that without it the digestive system would be badly affected), and provided there is no kosher alternative.

Sources: See Iggros Moshe (Yoreh Deah, vol. 2, no. 26) concerning vitamins (swallowing them is not considered eating), and see also Minchas Shlomo (1:17) and Har Zvi (97) who also write that swallowing pills is not considered “eating.” Although Noda Biyehuda (I, Yoreh Deah 35) writes that swalling is considered eating, this is only true with regard to food that can be eaten in a normal manner. Similar ruling have been given by Rav Elyashiv (Kovetz Teshuvos 1:73), Rav Ovadya Yosef (Yabia Omer (II, Yoreh Deah, 12:10). For further sources on this matter, for the question of whether or not swallowing the pill might be considered achshevei, and for the availability of a kosher alternative, see Rabbi Y Spitz’s comment to a post (Hebrew) entitled הכשר לכדורים לדיאטה.

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