Does Paracetamol Break Intermittent Fasting? Exploring the Connection


Intermittent fasting has gained popularity as a dietary approach involving alternating eating and fasting periods. It has been praised for its potential benefits, such as weight management and improved metabolic health. On the other hand, paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is a commonly used pain reliever and fever reducer. But have you ever wondered, ‘Does paracetamol break intermittent fasting?’ This article will delve into the relationship between paracetamol and intermittent fasting to understand whether this medication affects your fasting goals. So, let’s explore the impact of paracetamol on intermittent fasting together.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It encompasses various methods, including the 16/8 method, alternate-day fasting, and the 5:2 diet(1). The primary principle remains consistent: restricting calorie intake during specific periods and consuming food during designated windows. The aim is to create an extended fasting state that promotes cellular repair, hormone regulation, and potential weight loss. Remembering that intermittent fasting is not about complete abstinence from all substances is essential. It allows the consumption of certain beverages and medications as long as they don’t significantly impact the fasting state.

Paracetamol and Fasting: Caloric Content

One of the critical considerations when assessing whether paracetamol breaks intermittent fasting is its caloric content. Research conducted in Canada provides insights into the calorie content of various medicines, which can be assumed to be similar to UK medicines. For instance, a 500mg paracetamol tablet contains a mere 0.3 calories, while a sugar-coated 400mg ibuprofen tablet contains 0.5 calories. It’s important to note that paracetamol is not the ideal choice for weight-conscious individuals seeking pain relief, as its maximum daily dose contains 2.4 calories compared to 1.5 calories for ibuprofen. However, it’s still an insignificant amount when considering fasting goals. The absence of significant caloric content in paracetamol ensures it does not trigger an insulin response or disrupt the metabolic processes associated with fasting.

Metabolic Effects of Paracetamol During Fasting

Now that we’ve established paracetamol’s negligible caloric impact let’s delve into its metabolic effects during fasting. Paracetamol is rapidly absorbed by the body and primarily metabolized by the liver. However, the liver’s metabolic pathways related to paracetamol breakdown do not interfere with the mechanisms involved in fasting. As a result, paracetamol does not hinder the cellular processes associated with intermittent fasting, such as autophagy and ketosis. This means that taking paracetamol within the recommended dosage keeps your fast and healthy with the potential benefits you aim to achieve.

By examining the relationship between paracetamol and intermittent fasting, we have clarified that taking paracetamol does not break your fast. Its negligible caloric content and minimal impact on metabolic processes ensure you can safely use paracetamol as a pain reliever or fever reducer without compromising your intermittent fasting goals. However, it’s always wise to consult your healthcare professional or pharmacist for specific concerns regarding medications and fasting. Remember to follow the recommended dosage and guidelines for a safe and effective fasting experience.

Taking Medications During Intermittent Fasting

When taking medications during intermittent fasting, keeping a few general guidelines in mind is crucial. Firstly, always follow the recommended dosages provided by healthcare professionals or mentioned on the packaging. This ensures you take the appropriate amount of medication without jeopardizing your fasting goals. Secondly, please consult your healthcare professional or pharmacist for any concerns or questions regarding specific drugs and their compatibility with fasting. They can provide tailored advice based on your unique circumstances.

It cannot be stressed enough how vital it is to adhere to the recommended dosages when taking medications during intermittent fasting. Taking more than the prescribed amount can lead to unwanted side effects and potentially impact your fasting experience. Similarly, if you are unsure about the suitability of a particular medication while fasting, seek guidance from healthcare professionals. They have the expertise to assess potential interactions, address your concerns, and provide alternatives if needed. Remember, your health and well-being should always be a priority.

While paracetamol does not break intermittent fasting, it’s essential to be aware of potential concerns or interactions with other fasting protocols. Some fasting regimens, such as water fasting or extended fasting, may have stricter guidelines regarding the intake of medications. Suppose you are following a fasting protocol that restricts the consumption of anything other than water. In that case, it is recommended to consult with your healthcare professional before taking any medications, including paracetamol. They can guide you on alternative approaches or adjust your medication schedule to align with your fasting goals.


In conclusion, taking paracetamol during intermittent fasting does not break your fast. However, following general guidelines for medication use while fasting is crucial. Always adhere to the recommended dosages and consult healthcare professionals for personalized advice. They can address any concerns and ensure your medications are compatible with your fasting regimen. Remember, responsible use of drugs and prioritizing professional guidance are essential for maintaining your well-being while pursuing your intermittent fasting goals. Stay informed, stay proactive, and enjoy the benefits of a balanced approach to health and fasting.


Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? (2023, March).

Joseph Emb
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Hi there! I'm Joseph Emb, a nutritionist and certified personal trainer passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. With over ten years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I've accumulated a great deal of knowledge that I love to share with my readers. I have a degree in exercise science and am proud to have been featured in reputable publications such as Men's Health and Women's Fitness. My goal with my blog is to inspire and empower others to take control of their health and live happier healthier lives.