Does Paracetamol Break Intermittent Fasting? Expert Advice

Intermittent fasting has become a popular dietary trend, praised for its potential health benefits such as weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation. However, one common concern among fasting enthusiasts is whether taking medications like paracetamol would disrupt the fasting process. In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between paracetamol and intermittent fasting, providing valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about your health.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. This eating pattern has gained traction due to its simplicity and purported health benefits. The most common methods include the 16/8 method (fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window) and the 5:2 diet (eating normally for five days and restricting calorie intake for two non-consecutive days).

The Role of Paracetamol

Paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is an over-the-counter medication for pain relief and fever reduction. It works by inhibiting the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause pain and inflammation. While paracetamol does not contain calories, its effects on insulin levels and metabolism during fasting remain unclear.

Does Paracetamol Break Intermittent Fasting?

Experts agree that paracetamol does not break intermittent fasting regarding caloric intake. Since it contains no calories, it is unlikely to disrupt the fasting process. However, there are other considerations to keep in mind.

Paracetamol may not interfere with the caloric aspect of fasting, but it could affect insulin levels and metabolism. Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort or irritation when taking paracetamol on an empty stomach during fasting. Additionally, long-term use of paracetamol in excessive doses may pose risks to liver health, a vital organ involved in metabolism.

Tips for Taking Paracetamol During Fasting

If you decide to take paracetamol while fasting, consider the following tips:

  • Follow the recommended dosage instructions.
  • Take the medication with water instead of sugary drinks.
  • Avoid taking paracetamol on an empty stomach to minimize the risk of stomach irritation.
  • Consult with a healthcare professional if you have underlying medical conditions or are unsure about taking medication during fasting.


In conclusion, paracetamol does not break intermittent fasting regarding caloric intake. However, its effects on insulin levels and metabolism warrant further investigation. While fasting may be safe for short-term use, it’s essential to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication, including paracetamol. As with any dietary regimen, prioritize your health and well-being.


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

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