Ketogenic Diet Medicines Information for Parents / Carers

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Ketogenic Diet Medicines Information for Parents / Carers

Medicines usually contain some form of carbohydrate so it is important that the most suitable formulation and brand for the Ketogenic diet is selected. When your child is started on the Ketogenic diet, the current medicines will be assessed and the most suitable formulation and brand selected. Once established on the diet, it is important that any new medicines that are needed are appropriately selected. Here are some helpful tips:

Always tell hospital doctors / nurses / GP / community pharmacist that your child is on the Ketogenic diet and requires medicines that are carbohydrate free / low carbohydrate.

  • Tablets are generally better than liquids – so if in doubt use tablets.
  • Suppositories are ok, even if they contain carbohydrate as it is not absorbed.
  • Ketogenic diet stickers – ask nurse / doctor to stick on drug chart if child admitted to hospital.
  • Intravenous fluids containing glucose should be avoided unless your child has low blood glucose levels (BMs).
  • If a new medicine is started then monitor ketones and contact Ketogenic team if you have any concerns that the medicine is causing a reduction in ketones.

What to avoid

  • Sucrose
  • Fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Sorbitol
  • Glucose
  • Mannitol
  • Glycerol
  • Starch
  • Maize starch
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin


Pain relief

Paracetamol - the Medinol brand of paracetamol 120mg/5ml is the most keto-friendly. A supply letter is available for your GP / Community pharmacy. It may be worthwhile to keep a bottle at home as pharmacies may not stock this particular brand.


Ibuprofen – the Fenpaed brand of ibuprofen 100mg/5ml is keto-friendly.


Tablet and capsule antibiotics are not usually suitable to use for children on a ketogenic diet due to inappropriate strengths for young children and they contain higher levels of carbohydrate. There are lots of different brands of liquid antibiotics available; make sure a sugar-free liquid is prescribed. They may contain sorbitol so ketones should be monitored.

Laxatives for constipation

The common laxatives used in children (lactulose and senna) contain big amounts of sugar so should be avoided. If lactulose is prescribed then the Novartis brand should be used. Movicol can be used in the Ketogenic diet. Suppositories and phosphate enema are suitable to use, but will need to be prescribed by a doctor.


Created 24/03/2010 by Ruth Ackers (Pharmacist)

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