Thu 24 Jm2 1435 - 24 April 2014
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Is it permissible to use a nasal spray that contains a percentage of alcohol? Does it break the fast for one who is fasting?

I have an allergy to dust that causes me to sneeze continually (as much as 60 sneezes in succession). The doctor has prescribed for me medicine in a spray that contains 0.25% of alcohol. I only use this medicine in urgent cases, but I do not know whether it is permissible for me to use this medicine or not. And what is the ruling on using it in Ramadan in particular?.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

We ask Allah to heal you and grant you well being. We inform you that there is nothing wrong with using this medicine that contains that percentage of alcohol, which is very low and is dissolved in the medicine and there is no apparent trace of it, so it does not come under the ruling prohibiting alcohol.                           

We have quoted the fatwas of the scholars concerning that. Please see the answer to question nos. 146013 and 111851

Secondly: 

Using sprays for allergies does not invalidate the fast according to the correct opinion, whether they are administered through the nose or through the mouth, as they are in the form of vapour and do not contain any solid matter that enters the stomach. 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

I have an allergy that affects my nose and I use a nasal spray to treat it. If I do not use it, it causes me great difficulty in breathing and I cannot do without the medicine for more than three hours. If I do not use it, it will make breathing very difficult. The problem is that the month of Ramadan is coming and I use this medicine and am afraid it will affect my fast, but if I stop using it I cannot cope. Please note that on some days in Ramadan I did use it but I am very careful to prevent it from reaching my throat. What is the ruling on that? And what is the ruling on using it? 

He replied: 

We ask Allah to heal you and grant you well being. The answer to your question is that this spray that you are using is like a kind of gas because it is dispersed in the air and does not reach the stomach. As that is the case, we say that there is nothing wrong with using this spray when you are fasting and you are not breaking the fast by doing that because – as we have said – no part of it reaches the stomach because it is something that is dispersed in the air and disappears, and no particle of it reaches the stomach such that we could say that it is something that breaks the fast. So it is permissible for you to use it when you are fasting. 

Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb, tape no. 44 

See also the fatwas of the scholars ruling that using puffers for asthma in the mouth does not break the fast, in the answer to question no. 37650

This was also stated in a fatwa by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) about using nasal sprays, as we have quoted from him in the answer to question no. 106494

And Allah knows best.

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