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How we take medicines in the right way

  1. Medicines only work well if we take them correctly. For example, do you know at what time of the day medications work best? Before or after dinner? And does it interact with other medicines, possibly even with food? Mismatched or combined with certain foods, drugs often lose their potency. And dangerous side effects are also possible if used incorrectly. Reading the package insert before taking any medication should actually be mandatory. But those leaflets are not known for their clear wording. The layman is often just as wise after reading it as before. Therefore, don't drugs work as hoped? Or are the side effects a problem? Maybe we are taking the medicines wrong. This is more common than we think. Avoid such mistakes and learn how to take medicines correctly. For more information, it is recommended to consult the attending physician or pharmacist.

Take tablets before, after or during a meal

  1. Before a meal means that you should take tablets 30 minutes to an hour before the next meal. The reason: medicines work faster on an empty stomach. Some tablets also have a special coating that only remains stable in an empty stomach, so that they can get into the intestines undamaged, from where they are absorbed into the blood. while eating means that you should take the tablet between bites. But you can also eat everything calmly and take the medicine immediately afterwards. The reason: The food knit protects the sensitive gastric mucosa from possible damage caused by the drug. after eating mean that between the last meal and taking the medicine at least two hours must have elapsed. The reason: there are foods that interfere with the absorption of the medicine.

When and how often to take your pills?

  1. Once a day always means at the same time. One or two hour difference in time is acceptable. Twice a day means that we take the pills approximately every twelve hours. Three times a day means we take the pills every morning, noon and before going to bed.

Missed dose?

  1. If we have missed the previously mentioned moments, then under no circumstances should we take the double dose of the medicine next time. Read the package leaflet to assess what to do, or if in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist and discuss what to do with him.

Take with the correct liquid

  1. It is best to swallow pills, tablets or capsules with a full glass of tap water. The liquid helps to keep the capsules from sticking in the esophagus. In addition, the water ensures that the active substances are released more quickly.

Why tap water?

  1. Mineral water sometimes contains many salts. These are usually very healthy for the human body, but in combination with some active substances from medicines, they become substances that are too large and cannot enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall. So they are eliminated without accomplishing anything.

Do not take medication with milk

  1. The high calcium content in milk has the same effect as the salts of the mineral water. Milk is therefore not suitable for taking pills. And in a similar way, yogurt, cheese or quark can also interfere with the action of various medicines. This is especially the case with antibiotics.

No alcohol

  1. It is very unlikely that someone will swallow their medicines with a long gulp of whiskey and that's a good thing. Because alcohol can inhibit the proper functioning of medicines or enhance their effects. This is because ethanol, like most drugs, is broken down in the liver. And don't forget: that also applies the morning after a night of sagging. Because alcohol can still be in the bloodstream even after sleeping.

No fruit juice

  1. Fruit juice can increase the effect of some medicaments by up to 70 percent and can therefore lead to dangerous reactions. For safety reasons it is better to avoid the combination of fruit juice with medicines. Grapefruit juice deserves special mention. In Belgium this juice is also called grapefruit juice. This juice contains a substance that can slow the breakdown of several drugs. And that delaying effect can last for 24 to 48 hours. Grapefruit juice can also enhance the effect of some drugs such as simvastatin and corticosteroids.

The correct time

  1. The activity of our bodily functions is subject to great fluctuations during the day. Because it is also influenced by hormones or the metabolism, the effect of medicines is not the same at all times of the day:

Food interactions

  1. Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, quark or milk can put various medicines out of play. This applies, for example, to antibiotics such as doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. The effects of fluorinated drugs also suffer from simultaneous consumption of dairy products. Furthermore, cheese and yogurt also interact with specific osteoporosis agents, the bisphosphonates. This is a particularly disturbing interaction because people suffering from such bone disorders depend on the consumption of dairy products and more specifically on the calcium in them.

Dietary fiber and medicines

  1. Dietary fiber is known as a true panacea due to its preventive effect on various conditions, such as obesity and diabetes. Physicians and nutritionists therefore ceaselessly point to the beneficial effects of whole grains and fruits. But beware: dietary fiber can seriously disrupt or even prevent the absorption of medicines. So it is better to leave a few hours between taking tablets or capsules and müsli.

Licorice and diuretics (water pills) not without risk

  1. Licorice is a delicacy for many. However, patients on diuretics (water pills) would do well to avoid them. The candy can be dangerous in combination with the urine promoting drugs. The increased loss of potassium can cause muscle weakness, high blood pressure and fatigue.

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