When and How to Take Your Medication

 

Some drugs can interfere with the absorption of important nutrients. On the other hand, what you eat can influence the effectiveness of certain drugs. The following is a list of drugs that can potentially interact with nutrients in food that we eat:

 

       antacids

       laxatives

       antibiotics

       anticoagulants for thinning blood

       anti-lipid drugs for cholesterol lowering

       anti-inflammatory drugs

       drugs for heart problems  

       drugs for high blood pressure

       drugs for the treatment of Parkinson's Disease

 

It is important to talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or dietitian about possible drug-nutrient interactions when taking medications. We should also learn about how and when the medication should be taken.

 

What's the Best Time?

 

A pharmacist is probably the best person to ask when to take your medication. Pharmacies now provide information sheets with a medication that describe its properties, side effects, and potential food interactions. Those who are required to take your medication on an empty stomach should take it at least 1 hour before eating or 2 to 3 hours after a meal for increased effectiveness.

 

Certain drugs work better during digestion and must be taken with meals. Other pills, anti-inflammatory drugs for example, should also be taken with food as this helps prevent stomach irritation. If a meal is skipped and the medication must be taken with food, it should be taken with a light snack.

 

How Should You Take Your Medication?

 

Drinking water with medication is always recommended. Some fruit or vegetable juices are also acceptable; check with a pharmacist to prevent possible adverse reactions, particularly with grapefruit juice. In addition, avoid taking medications with tea, coffee, and other hot beverages since they can alter the effect of certain drugs.

 

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