When should you take your medicine?
Do you know exactly when you take your medication? Does "take 4 times a day" mean that you have to swallow a pill every 6 hours? Would you then have to sleep until midnight only to get up and take another pill?
Yes, "4 times a day” generally means that you take it once every 4 to 6 hours. To calculate the time between taking each pill, remember to deduct the sleep time before dividing by 4. But generally, you can follow these rules.
Why should we shake cough syrup before using it?
4 times a day: morning, afternoon, evening and before bedtime 3 times a day: morning, afternoon and evening Twice a day: morning and evening Once a day: take the medication once either in the morning or in the evening. For example, diuretics are mostly taken in the morning to avoid excessive nighttime urination
**This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to the doctor or pharmacist if you have any medication-related questions.
Why must some medicines be taken before or after meal?
The difference between taking your medicine before or after a meal is due to drug-food interaction and whether this interaction affects the drug’s efficacy.
Generally, medicine taken pre-meal should be taken half an hour to 1 hour before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. The common reason for taking medication before a meal is to reduce interference of the food with drug absorption.
The active ingredients of oral drugs must be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood, and then carried by the blood to the liver and the whole body. Food in the body can increase or decrease the absorption of certain drugs which may lead to the increased side effects or decreased efficacy.
The absorption of some antibiotics could be reduced by the presence of food or gastric acid, so it is recommended to be taken an hour before or two hours after a meal to receive the best effect.
Generally, medication taken after a meal should be taken half an hour to one hour after a meal. The meal does not have to be big as long as there is some food, it should help reduce the side effects of the medicine such as irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. The most common type of medication of this type are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Cough syrup contains a mixture medicine and syrup. Over time in storage, the active drug in cough syrup will precipitate. Hence, without shaking, the drugs that settle at the bottom will not be evenly distributed throughout the liquid. In other words, taking early doses will not be effective if not shaken, since all the drugs are concentrated in the last dose. This can potentially be very dangerous as it can also lead to an overdose.
What does "as needed" mean
The dosage of “as needed” depends on medicines or situations. There are instructions for as-needed medication. For example, medicines for relieving of cold and flu symptoms. You should not take a double dose in hopes for a speedy recovery. Not only will this be ineffective, you may risk an overdose as well as liver failure.
Measuring the amount of medicine
Do not use a teaspoon to measure the amount of medicine as it will be difficult to gauge the actual from the prescription dose. You can go to the pharmacy or clinic to buy a medicinal spoon that is easy to use and accurate, reducing the problem of wrong doses.
Does storing medicines in the fridge make them last longer?
The refrigerator is not a magic box. It will not extend the expiration date of medicines. Some medicines may even spoil if they are refrigerated. For example, cough syrup may lose efficacy when the temperature is too low. Unless specified by the instructions, never refrigerate medications. Most medications should be stored at room temperature, between 25 °C to 30 °C. If in doubt, speak to the doctor.
Why do medicines need to be protected from light?
Some medicines need to be “protected from light”, such as “Nitroglycerin”, since its active ingredients are quite volatile and will slowly lose efficacy when exposed to light. To avoid the deterioration of the medicine, it is necessary to store these medicines in a dark place, such as a cupboard.
Why can some drugs be chewed up and swallowed, and some cannot?
Most pills and capsules are usually designed to be released slowly in the body until the drug reaches the small intestine to exert their maximum effect. For example, long-acting medications for lowering blood pressure (antihypertensives) should not be chewed or crushed. Destroying the original drug design may will lead to a quick release and cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and other unwanted side effects.
However, some tablets are designed to be chewed to increase their rate of absorption. Chewable antacids are slow acting, hence by chewing the tablet, a lot of small particles can be created. This creates a larger surface area, allowing faster absorption. Thus, it can instantly neutralize gastric acid to relieve a bloated stomach.
Why must glyceryl trinitrate tablets be taken under the tongue?
Sublingual medications are placed under the tongue, as it is designed to be absorbed in the mouth which directly dissolves into the bloodstream through capillaries, immediately relieving chest pain. Medications administered by this route generally work quickly.
Why do some medicines need to be taken with plenty of water?
In general, medications should be taken with a full glass of water. However, there are some that need to be taken with a lot more water. For example, the painkiller aspirin can irritate the esophagus, hence you may need to take more than a full glass of water. In addition, ibuprofen and other antipyretics require lots of water so as to prevent dehydration and reduce the damage of the drug to the liver, kidneys and stomach. `
If you have liver or kidney disease, please ask your doctor before taking any medication.
The above is the knowledge about taking medicine. To know more, welcome to visit the drug icon.