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When taking medication may be a sin: dietary requirements and food laws in psychotropic prescribing

  • Waqqas A. Khokhar, Simon L. Dein, Mohammed S. Qureshi, Imran Hameed, Mohammed M. Ali, Yasir Abbasi, Hasan Aman and Ruchit Sood...
Summary

Religious laws do not usually forbid the use of psychotropic medication, but many do forbid the consumption of animal-based derivatives of bovine and/or porcine origin (e.g. gelatin and stearic acid) such as are found in many medications. Demonstrating awareness of this, combined with a genuine concern about how it affects the patient, may strengthen the doctor—patient relationship and avoid non-adherence. In this article, we outline dietary requirements of key religions and belief systems that may have a bearing when prescribing medication containing animal-based ingredients. We identify common psychotropics that contain animal-based derivatives and suggest alternative prescribing options and approaches to dealing with sensitive ethical issues.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Waqqas Ahmad Khokhar, Department of Psychiatry, Maidstone Centre, City Central CMHT, St Peters Health Centre, Sparkenhoe Street, Leicester LE2 0TA, UK. Email: waqqaskhokhar@doctors.org.uk
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Learning Objectives

Gain a basic understanding of religious principles governing dietary laws and their influence on concordance with psychotropic medication Be able to discuss confidently with patients the presence of religiously or ethically forbidden ingredients in medication Be able to offer alternative strategies to address medication non-adherence secondary to religious, ethical or personal beliefs

Declaration of Interest

None

Footnotes
References
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BJPsych Advances
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When taking medication may be a sin: dietary requirements and food laws in psychotropic prescribing

  • Waqqas A. Khokhar, Simon L. Dein, Mohammed S. Qureshi, Imran Hameed, Mohammed M. Ali, Yasir Abbasi, Hasan Aman and Ruchit Sood...
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