Most people, misunderstand drug labels or have trouble following their directions. This is even more difficult for older adults who take several prescription medications. Also, highly educated individuals can be tripped up by a doctor’s handwriting, so don’t be afraid to ask (the doctor or a pharmacist?) if you have any questions related to medications like when to take and how to take them.
What should I know about taking the medications properly?
Take your medications exactly as prescribed by the doctor, including at the right time.
Read patient product information leaflets to know about the instructions and possible side effects. In case you experience any as soon as you start taking the drug, consult the doctor.
Know the purpose of each medication and how they work.
Do not stop taking the medication unless you discuss it with the doctor because it makes it more challenging to treat and cause unwanted side effects.
Follow the label instructions carefully and see if the medication has to be taken without/without food.
Ask the doctor if there are any foods to be avoided with the medication.
If you are taking medicines with water, drink one full glass of water, do not just sip enough water to swallow the pills. If not, the medication might not work correctly, and you may have a throat irritation.
Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets unless it is advised.
Do not take a double dose in case you skipped any dose.
Here are few instructions regarding WHEN and HOW to take your medications.
TAKE BEFORE MEALS
Means take your medicine 30 minutes before a meal
And NOT 2 minutes before a meal!
Reason: Effects of some medicine could be lost with the presence of food
TAKE AFTER MEALS
Means take your medicine 5 to 10 minutes after meals
Reason: some medication can irritate your stomach, and it can be relieved by foods in the stomach
COMPLETE THE COURSE
Means finish all the medicines even when you feel better
Reason: to kill the remaining germs in your body, the remaining germs could become stronger and eventually resist your medicine which can make you sick again
It’s often advised to take vitamins during the day, after a meal
Never take supplements on an empty stomach
Reason: the effect of the supplement will be a loss as they will quickly pass out in your urine (Vitamin B&C)
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