Ramadan: fasting and antifibrotic medications

April 2024


The holy month of Ramadan is observed by millions of Muslims in the UK each year. There are many special aspects within this month, and fasting is just one of these. The impact of fasting and taking antifibrotic medication is not well understood and researchers are trying to change this.

What effect does fasting have on people taking antifibrotic medications?

There are currently no research studies exploring the effect of Ramadan fasting for people taking antifibrotic drugs for pulmonary fibrosis. However, researchers want to start to explore this and understand more.

During Ramadan, many Muslims fast during daylight hours. However, if someone is unwell or their heath could be affected by fasting, they may chose or be advised not to do so. Ramadan fasting has been recognised to influence people's ability to take medication and affect treatment effects.

Pirfenidone and nintedanib are currently the only licenced antifibrotic medications available for people with pulmonary fibrosis. Both medications should be taken with food to help reduce potential side effects. There is some research that suggests the amount of the drug that enters the blood system can change when taken whilst fasting.

Research opportunity

Researchers have designed a questionnaire to look at peoples behaviours during Ramadan, whilst prescribed antifibrotic medications. The study is being carried out in ILD specialist centres around the UK and run by the specialist ILD pharmacists supporting the prescribing of these drugs. ILD centres will be contacting suitable participants to take part and inviting them to complete an online survey together with their specialist ILD pharmacist.

The survey takes no longer than 10 to 15 minutes to complete, and will be open for people to take part between 11th April and 24th May 2024.

Do you want to get involved?

If you are interested to take part in the survey but have not been contact by your ILD team, please speak to your specialist ILD pharmacist. This will be the pharmacist at the ILD clinic within a specialist centre and not a local high street pharmacist.

If you are a specialist ILD pharmacist and would like to get involved with supporting this survey, please contact: hira.saqib@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

Whilst you are here, you may be interested in: