Q: Is it permissible to use medicine that contains alcohol? What is the difference between that and the liquor you find in the bottle store?
A.It is permissible to use medicine that contains alcohol when no Halaal medicine is available to substitute it. The difference between this and wine sold in bottle-stores is quite evident. A small amount of wine can cause intoxication, whereas no matter how much medicine one consumes, intoxication does not occur, though the patient might become seriously affected by the overdose.
Another difference between alcohol that is in medicine and the wine sold in bottle stores is that the medicinal alcohol is not made from grapes but is instead manufactured from wheat, molasses, sugars, etc. Whereas wine is made from the fermentation of grapes and this is what the Qur'aan has described as KHAMR or wine.
Allah Ta'aala knows best.
Mufti Siraj Desai