Why must Few Medications be Taken Along with food?

October 30, 2014 by  
Filed under General Advice, Tips for Ayurveda

why-some-medications-be-taken-with-foodI was surprised to hear that the doctor has prescribed medication to be taken along with food. I repeated the query to verify if what I heard was correct. This thought kept bothering the whole day and upon searching the net and got few answers. Summarized the findings:

Why Some Medications Should Be Taken With Food

Some drugs, like ibuprofen or aspirin, can irritate the stomach lining if you take them when you’re empty. So, they really need your meals in there to act as a cushion.
You need to simply follow the instructions as mentioned on the label of the medication or as prescribed by the doctor.

If the label mentions,” Take with Food” you need to have the medication during the meal.

Other medications, like those for blood pressure, mix up with the food so they can move very slowly into your system, to get their full effect.

If your label of the medication says, “Take on an empty stomach,” that’s a drug that doesn’t want any competition from food. You should take the tablet one hour before eating, or wait two hours after a meal.

Also observed that few people prefer to swallow the pill without water. Water or some liquid is essential to wash it down, and help it dissolve in your stomach. A glassful of water is ideal but if you are in a big rush, few gulps of water will do.

Why do we need to eat before consuming ‘some’ medicines?

Some medicines can irritate the inside of the stomach, eating something first minimizes this. Some medicines such as aspirin, can be quite harsh on an empty stomach, particularly if it sits in one spot in the stomach while being absorbed. Food acts like a diluent to spread the aspirin around so that it is absorbed more slowly, and spreads it to different parts of the stomach. Food aids the absorption of the specific medication .why-some-medications-be-taken-with-food

Some medicine, like penicillin, need to be taken on an empty stomach, so that they are not competing with the food to be absorbed, or being changed by interaction with the food.

This is not a rule that must be applied to all medication, it is important to follow the instructions given on the label or leaflet coming with your medication. Some medication must be taken on an empty stomach.

Why must some medicines be taken with or after food?

Some medicines need to be taken with or after food. The six main reasons for this are outlined below.

1 – To reduce side effects of nausea or vomiting

2 – To reduce side effects of stomach irritation, including indigestion, stomach inflammation or ulcers

3 – To treat problems such as heartburn, reflux or indigestion

4 – To ensure the medicine is not washed away

5 – To ensure the medicine is absorbed into the blood stream properly

6 – To help the body process the meal

Medicines for diabetes, if taken by mouth, should usually be taken around meal times to reduce blood sugar levels after eating, and to avoid hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar).

Ayurveda, the science of life also advocates having meals on time and follow the instructions of the vaidya. Walking is essential after meals for good digestion.

Remember, if you have questions about your medication…you can always ask your doctor or the pharmacist for advice!

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