When it comes to your diet on Ramadan, things are quite simple. But what about those of you who are observing Ramadan and are taking our weight loss medication?
Patients who are fasting throughout Ramadan should seek the advice of their The Slimming Clinic prescribing Doctor for personalised advice regarding continuing their treatment while fasting.
However, we asked Dr Jane Glazebrook if she was able to provide some general advice that patients should consider when taking appetite suppression medication while fasting.
If you are on appetite suppressant tablets
Take your prescribed medication at a different time to when you usually would
Usually we suggest patients take their CAAS medication at the beginning of their day to reduce their appetite over the period they are awake and hungry. Also allowing 12 hours for their medication to wear off before they intend to go to sleep. This would generally be first thing in the morning for most individuals.
During Ramadan patients could choose to take their medication when they break fast at sunset prior to Iftar and therefore reduce their appetite from sunset to sunrise. This would allow for their appetite to be suppressed during the period when they would be eating and would also allow for sufficient water intake. However, this could disturb the individual’s sleep pattern.
Alternatively, patients could choose to take their medication just before Suhoor. The individual will get good appetite suppression effect throughout the daytime during fasting and there will be less effect on the individual’s sleep. However, the effects of their medication could decrease towards the end of the day and the inability to get sufficient water intake at this time could lead to a dry mouth and occasional dehydration headaches.
Patients can also look at reducing the dosage of medication taken at this time to minimise the side effects of dry mouth, restlessness, and insomnia.
Consider temporarily stopping their centrally acting appetite suppressant.
If you are concerned about taking appetite suppressant tablets during fasting, you could consider an alternative medication such as Xenical (orlistat). Orlistat blocks gastrointestinal lipases (enzymes that digest fat). When these enzymes are blocked, they cannot digest some fats in the diet, and this allows about 30% of the fat eaten in the meal to pass through the gut undigested. The body cannot use this dietary fat for energy or convert it into fat tissue. This helps weight reduction.
Patients can also use Xenical along their appetite suppression medication. Ask your Slimming Clinic prescribing doctor regarding taking Xenical with your appetite suppression tablets.
If you are taking injectable appetite suppressant medication
Unlike tablet medication, Saxenda can be administered at any time of day as it does not affect energy/sleeping patterns. However, it is important to administer your Saxenda injection at the same time every day.
If you are a diabetic or have trouble balancing your blood glucose you may need to consider if fasting with or without Saxenda is appropriate as you risk suffering episodes of low blood glucose (Hypoglycaemia). This is normally avoided by eating regular meals.