Introduction to Shabbat and Medicines

Health or Life-Threatening Condition
On Shabbat, you may not take medicine used to promote health. Whenever there is any question of a life-threatening disease or condition, you must take medicine.

Categories of Sick People
There are several categories of sick people:
  • Entire Body Is Affected
    Example Fever.
    Status You may take medicines for this category; pills, such as aspirin, are OK to take.
    Exception You may not smear substances on skin UNLESS the fever is life-threatening, in which case even smearing is permitted.
  • Only Part of the Body Is Affected
    Status Some medicines may be used--consult a rabbi.
  • Discomfort
    Status Medicine generally may not be used.
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