A pill bottle of antipsychotics beside a fasting timer, representing the intersection of medication and intermittent fasting

Antipsychotics and Intermittent Fasting: Do They Break Your Fast?

Kate Fowler

What’s the Deal?

Today we’re diving into a topic that seems to come up a lot in the intermittent fasting communities - whether taking antipsychotic medications can break your fast or not. As someone who has been intermittent fasting for years while also taking antipsychotics, I’ve done a ton of research on this and have the inside scoop to share with you.

First, let’s get one thing straight - taking medication is not “cheating” or doing anything wrong when fasting. Your health comes first, always. But I know many of us are curious if our meds affect our fasts in any way. One survey found that over 25% of intermittent fasters take prescription medications while fasting.

The Evidence

When it comes to antipsychotics specifically, most of the evidence points to them not breaking a fast. Here’s the deal - most antipsychotics don’t contain enough calories or nutrients to trigger an insulin response and kickstart digestion during your fasting window. We’re talking medications with only a couple calories at most.

For example, a common antipsychotic like Abilify (aripiprazole) contains no more than 3 calories per tablet. The ketogenic macro ratio considers anything under 50 calories to be fasting-safe. A study found that taking aripiprazole had no impact on ketone levels during a prolonged fast, but may cause insulin resistance on the long run.

Of course, there are always exceptions. Some liquid formulations or antipsychotics that need to be taken with food could potentially break a fast since they are consumed with calories. The liquid concentrate form of antipsychotic Geodon contains about 200 calories, which could definitely disrupt a fast.

But in general, the solid pill/capsule forms of antipsychotics are considered fasting-safe.

Individual Impacts

Now, every medication is different and can potentially have unique impacts on an individual’s fast. Some fasters report side effects like dry mouth (up to 60% for certain antipsychotics) or feeling thirsty after taking their antipsychotic, which could tempt them to drink calorie-containing beverages and break their fast that way. Others say their antipsychotics have zero impact on their fasts.

A woman taking an antipsychotic medication during her intermittent fasting window

A lot comes down to individual factors like age, metabolism, fasting experience, and sensitivity to medications. One study found that just 5% of participants had to stop fasting due to adverse effects from taking medications during their fasts.

My Personal Experience

Personally, I’ve found that my antipsychotic (a tiny 2.5mg aripiprazole pill I take at night) has no effect whatsoever on my daily 16:8 intermittent fasts. I’ve been able to stay in ketosis while fasting just fine. But I always recommend double checking with your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about how your specific medication could impact your fasting protocol.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, fasting looks different for everyone. As long as you are staying safe, sticking to your personal fasting/eating windows, and making your mental and physical health the priority, you’re doing it right! Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about taking prescribed medication during your fasts.

Researchers estimate that over 20% of intermittent fasters take at least one medication. You’re definitely not alone! Let me know if you have any other burning antipsychotic-fasting questions. I’m always happy to share my own experiences and the research I’ve found on this topic.

FAQs on Antipsychotics & Fasting

Q: Do all antipsychotic medications break a fast?

A: No, not all antipsychotics will break a fast. Most pills/capsules have minimal to no calories and nutrients, so they are unlikely to trigger an insulin response and disrupt a fast. However, liquids, powders or medications advised to take with food may contain enough calories to potentially break a fast.

Q: How many calories are typically in antipsychotic pills?

A: The calorie content of antipsychotic medications in pill/capsule form is usually very low - around 3 calories or less per dose. For reference, most experts consider anything under 50 calories to be fasting-safe.

Q: If I get dry mouth from my antipsychotic, does drinking water break my fast?

A: No, plain water will not break your fast even if you drink extra due to dry mouth from medication. Just be sure to avoid any calorie-containing beverages like juices or milk.

Q: Will taking my antipsychotic at night affect my fast the next day?

A: Likely not. As long as your antipsychotic medication is just a standard pill/capsule without any extra calories, taking it at night should not impact your fast the following day.

Q: Do antidepressants or mood stabilizers affect fasting differently than antipsychotics?

A: Every type of medication may potentially impact fasts differently based on ingredients, dosage, and individual factors. Antipsychotics specifically have been shown in multiple studies to typically not break fasts, but you’d need to research other medication classes separately.

Q: How can I be sure if my specific antipsychotic will break my fast?

A: The best way to be certain is to check with your doctor or pharmacist. They can advise you on the exact nutritional content and whether the dose/format you take could potentially break a fast based on your individual health needs.

Related Articles

Woman contemplating beginning 5:2 fasting diet for weight loss and health improvement

The 5:2 Diet Guide For Women

Intermittent fasting, a prominent phenomenon in the field of health and wellness, has become a source of optimism for numerous women seeking to enhanc...