Proper Use of Medicines is The Key to Successful Treatment
The effectiveness of drug therapy largely depends on how drug administration is related to food intake and its composition. Most instructions say: take this drug before or after meals. Unless otherwise indicated, the drug is taken on an empty stomach. Use “on an empty stomach” is considered to be the use of a drug at least 60 minutes before meals or 2 hours after eating. What we wash drugs down with is a very important point because liquids (milk, juice of various fruits, mineral water, etc.) react with the drug in various ways: sometimes they form insoluble complexes or destroy (modify) the active drug substance. As a result, the drug becomes ineffective. The conditions for taking the drug (before or after eating, chewing or not, with water or not, whether to treat the oral cavity after taking the medicine, etc.) should be indicated in the instructions for the drug in the section “Doses and application methods.”
As a popular healthcare expert, Trust Pharmacy official website regularly receives questions from customers about how to take this or that drug. That is why they decided to give the common recommendations for the proper usage of medications.
What are the rules of taking medicine?
If there are no instructions in the patient package insert, the medicine should be taken 30 minutes before meals. This applies to most drugs.
Any chemical substance is a foreign compound, which must be absorbed in the human body with the greatest benefit for its health. Meanwhile, following the rules of using medications can largely affect the effect of the drug.
If the doctor has prescribed several medications to you, they must be taken separately. Even the safest drugs will put a big burden on the stomach and liver if you take several drugs at once. In addition, no one will ever say how they behave under the influence of the individual environment of the stomach. They may cause the formation of toxic agents in the stomach. Therefore, drugs should be taken at different times of the day – the interval between doses should be at least 15-30 minutes.
What are the most suitable liquids to take medication with?
The best option is to take pills with plain boiled water. Water is a good solvent and does not affect the active substance.
Do not take medicine with milk, as this may reduce the effectiveness of drugs that are similar in structure to proteins — cardiac glycosides, caffeine, antiulcer drugs. Do not drink milk enzymes. Antibiotics should not be combined with dairy products. Sometimes the patient package insert mentions that the medicine is incompatible with milk.
It has been established that iron preparations cannot be taken together with milk and products with a high content of oxalic acid and tannins (strong tea, coffee, spinach, blueberries).
Calcium preparations should not be taken with milk, sparkling water, foods rich in fat.
Do not combine medicine and tea. Tea contains tannin, which forms insoluble compounds with nitrogen-containing agents.
The pharmacy also mentioned that you should not combine your prescriptions and alcohol. There are medications you should never mix with alcohol. Practice shows that this combination causes the most serious complications. For example, the prolonged use of non-steroid drugs together with alcoholic beverages causes ulcers and damage to the gastric mucosa. Antibiotics combined with alcohol not only lose their healing properties but can also form chemical compounds that are harmful to the body.
When to take your medicine?
As a rule, medications are taken in the following way:
- on an empty stomach: tinctures, infusions, decoctions and similar preparations from plant materials;
- before meals: diuretics; sulfanilamide preparations are usually washed down with an alkaline drink, for example, mineral water; foods containing sulfur (eggs, beans, tomatoes, liver) should be excluded from the diet during treatment; calcium gluconate (exclude foods containing oxalic, acetic and fatty acids);
- half an hour before meals: agents that lower the acidity of the gastric juice (antacid and choleretic drugs); antiulcer drugs, antiarrhythmic drugs;
- during meals: digestive enzymes, as they help the stomach digest food; water-soluble vitamins (C and groups B);
- after meals: painkillers (non-steroidal) anti-inflammatory drugs; fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), complex multivitamin preparations; funds that are components of bile, cardiac glycosides (it is recommended to grind the tablets, washed them down with starch mucus, exclude protein food); calcium chloride;
- regardless of food: bronchodilators; agents that improve cerebral circulation; medicines that dissolve “under the tongue”.
Take your medicine at regular intervals
Hormonal and “heart” drugs, most antibiotics should be taken at certain hours.
If the instructions say “three times a day”, this does not mean “breakfast – lunch – dinner”. The medicine must be taken every eight hours so that its concentration is evenly maintained in the blood. You may even need to take medication at night.
Treatment must be completed
This is especially true for antibiotic treatment. In no case should you stop taking antibiotics, even if the symptoms of the disease have decreased or disappeared. At the start, antibiotics kill the weakest microorganisms, and only then they fight more resistant ones. If you do not finish the prescribed course of treatment, then the most resistant microorganisms will survive, adapt to these drugs, and the subsequent treatment will no longer be effective or you will need a higher dose which is not harmless to the body.
Expired medicines can be risky
Never use expired drugs. At best, treatment will be ineffective; at worst – it will cause irreparable harm to your health. After all, the reaction of expired drugs may differ from that provided by the instructions. The same applies to drugs that were not stored correctly (temperature, humidity, light warnings were not observed).
Follow these rules when using medications and you will quickly recover! Be healthy!