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The Co-operative Pharmacy supports fasting Muslims during Ramadan


The Co-operative Pharmacy is extending its award winning Ramadan campaign to help Muslim patients manage their medicines during Ramadan .

79 Co-operative Pharmacies located in areas with a high proportion of Muslim customers, have been specially trained to offer a free tailored ’medicines check’ service. The pharmacists will then use these skills to identify patients who may need support and advice during the month of Ramadan. Together they will discuss all aspects of the prescribed medicines, to minimise problems and improve the patient’s understanding.

Although people who are ill can be exempt from fasting between dawn and sunset during Ramadan, many who take regular medication continue to observe the fast. This can mean that oral medicines are not taken at the correct time intervals, or their effectiveness is altered due to drugs’ interactions with food.

The Co-operative Pharmacy is urging Muslim patients on regular prescribed medication to speak to their pharmacist, to ensure that if they need to change the times they take their medicines they continue to manage their condition effectively.

The Muslim Council of Great Britain supports the initiative, commenting, “We welcome the effort by The Co-operative Pharmacy and will recommend it to our communities living locally.

“We urge all fellow Muslim brothers and sisters not to make their own decisions to alter doses or timings of medications without the guidance from their doctors or pharmacists throughout the holy month of Ramadan and beyond. We also urge local health practitioners to liaise with mosques and Islamic centres to educate the public on this important information during Ramadan fasting.”

“Last year we were able to support a significant number of Muslim people intending to fast during Ramadan and we are delighted to have extended the number of stores offering this service,” explains Adrian Price, The Co-operative Pharmacy’s Clinical Services Manager.

“We know that during Ramadan many patients change the times they take their medicines, or even the number of doses they take each day, without first seeking medical advice. Spending a few minutes discussing their plans with a pharmacist can identify potential problems and solutions,” adds Adrian.

The implications of changing the times medication is taken can include interaction of drugs not meant to be taken together, if they are all taken before sunrise or after sunset, or a change in the effectiveness of drugs designed to be taken before, during or after regular meals.

“We appreciate the importance of cultural understanding and sensitivity when discussing the implications on healthcare of people’s religious beliefs. We’re not making assumptions about how Muslim patients might act, but we strongly recommend they talk to their pharmacist,” concludes Adrian.


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