Explanation of the STAR-K Medicine List

Ideally, one should purchase over-the-counter (OTC) products with a reliable hechsher. STAR-K certified products contain only kosher approved ingredients. A product containing a trace of a non-kosher ingredient (even if it is batel b’shishim) cannot be certified STAR-K. Similarly, all certified products are manufactured without any keilim concerns.

Unfortunately, very few OTC products are kosher certified, and kosher consumers who require such products are often confronted with shailos (questions).

STAR-K has reviewed ingredients used in hundreds of OTC products manufactured by many of the major pharmaceutical companies, including Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, McNeil, Novartis, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Purdue Frederick, Schering-Plough, and Wyeth.

In compiling a list of “approved” medications for use by one who is a choleh (ill) or has a maychush (discomfort), the following halachic guidelines were used:


If all ingredients are kosher, there is no concern that the medicinal ingredients were produced on treif equipment (see Yoreh Deah 122:6).

If a non-kosher […]

She Sells Sea Shells – But Are They Kosher? The Kashrus Status of Glucosamine and Other Arthritis Remedies

As the kosher consumer crosses Maryland’s spectacular Chesapeake Bay Bridge, it is hard to imagine that glucosamine, one of the most widely used arthritis remedies is derived from the seafood shells found deep in the waters below. Sea shells are not the only surprising source of muscle and joint remedies. The l’vona (frankincense) used in the Bais Hamikdash, deer antlers, and an array of animals including sharks and bees, also contain the raw materials of over-the-counter arthritis supplements.

Kashrus Guide for the OB/GYN Patient

Updated June 2024

When visiting an obstetrician/gynecologist, a patient may be given prescriptions or recommendations for an array of products by her physician. The patient may be confused about whether a particular product is kosher. The following guide was prepared to help clarify the kashrus issues regarding these products.1

Ideally, one should purchase medicinal products and vitamins with a reliable kosher certification. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. In the event a product is not kosher approved, one should consult her rav, as one does with any halachic question.

The following guidelines in this regard are the halachic ruling of Rav Moshe Heinemann shlit”a, STAR-K Rabbinic Administrator.

NOTE: The following are general halachic guidelines and cannot possibly cover all scenarios. Under no circumstances should an individual forgo taking a prescribed medication without first consulting her physician and rav.


A choleh […]

A Kashrus Guide to Medications, Vitamins, and Nutritional Supplements

Click here to view the STAR-K Medicine List

Global sales of pharmaceutical products are expected to reach 500 billion dollars annually.1 It is therefore no wonder that the interest in kosher certification and approval for these products has also skyrocketed. Ideally, one should purchase these products with kosher certification. However, this is not always practical. It is for this reason that one of the most frequently asked questions on the Star-K hotline relates to the kosher status of these remedies. In an effort to clarify the numerous issues regarding these popular products, the Star-K has prepared the following halachic guidelines based on the psak of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita, Rabbinic Administrator of Star-K Kosher Certification.2

The Visitor’s Halachic Guide to Hospitals

Published Spring 2009
Updated Fall 2018

A person visiting a hospital patient is performing the great  mitzvah  of  bikur cholim .  It is one of the  mitzvos  for which a person reaps benefits in this world, while the principal reward is saved for the next world.  While visiting the sick, some  halachic  issues may arise.  This article addresses these issues from the visitor’s point of view.  Questions affecting the patient (such as adjusting the bed, using the call button, and asking the staff to perform tasks on  Shabbos ) are important issues that should be posed to one’s rabbi.