Pill Makes Fasting Easier

Israeli Arabs may soon make your Yom Kippur fast easier.

It’s often said that Jews and Muslims have a lot in common when it comes to religious observance, and that’s rarely highlighted better than when it comes to fasting. Both religions require full-on fasting several times a year.

Now there’s a theory that a drug called etoricoxib (commercial name Arcoxia), if taken before a fast day, reduces the occurrence of migraines and headaches. Before Yom Kippur, doctors at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center gave 211 patients pills to take — some were placebos, others were etoricoxib. Those who took the real thing — which conveniently remains active in the body for 22 hours — reported an easier fast.

The same researchers are working with Muslims who are fasting through Ramadan to continue their research, and if all goes well, they may just find a cure to fast-related migraines. On their recruitment website, they present the participation in the research as a religious virtue, as it will test whether the drug will “decrease the incidence of people breaking their fast.” You can see more on the experiment in this piece in the Jerusalem Post.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Share This Blog

Share This Blog

Close