Do not take medication lying down

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Pharmacist tips for taking medication: Do not take medication lying down

For years, pharmacists have been warning people to take medication correctly. Apparently irrelevant factors, such as body position or the fluid with which the tablets are swallowed, play an important role here, according to the experts.

Like the pharmacist at the University of Greifswald, Professor Dr. Sandra Klein, in the article in the magazine “Neue Apotheken Illustrierte” reports on the topic “Medicines and the Stomach”, takes a large part of the medication by mouth, whether as powder, granules, tablets or capsules. Most patients “find it easy to take (their) medication in this way,” but according to the expert, some basic rules should be observed in order to support the optimal effect of the medication and to avoid complications.

Always a glass of water for taking medication According to Professor Dr. According to Sandra Klein, for example, when taking tablets, care should always be taken that they are swallowed with sufficient liquid, otherwise "parts of the medication will stick to the inner wall of the esophagus." In any case, this would be accompanied by a significant delay in effectiveness the medication only gets into the stomach after some time. In the worst case, however, irritation or even permanent damage to the esophagus can occur, the expert explained. According to Prof. Dr. Small therefore always to be taken with a glass of water. According to the current article, other drinks such as fruit juices, coffee, tea, alcohol or milk are not recommended because they react with the medicinal substances and may thus cause health problems. For example, experts warn that taking grapefruit juice could have an undesirably strong effect because the juice inhibits a liver enzyme. In the case of other juices and milk, the effects of the medicines are also significantly delayed, since they remain in the stomach almost four times as long as water.

Taking drugs while sitting or standing To facilitate the transport of the drugs into the stomach, they should ideally not be taken while lying down but while sitting or standing, reports the pharmacist Prof. Klein. Otherwise there is a risk of delays in action and side effects if the drugs adhere to the mucous membranes of the esophagus. The pharmacist was very skeptical about the information provided by the manufacturers regarding the stomach contents at the time of taking the drug. Because descriptions such as taking one hour before or two hours after eating on the same preparation are clearly contradictory, since the stomach situation at the two times mentioned is fundamentally different. An hour before eating, the stomach could be described as sober, with two hours after eating there was still food left in the stomach and it was only after four hours that a sober state was reached, the expert explained. So if you want to take medication on an empty stomach to ensure a quick effect, Prof. Klein says you have to do it one hour before or four hours after eating. However, taking it on an empty stomach can also cause discomfort, as some medicines attack the gastric mucosa. Therefore, it is best for patients to "ask their doctor or pharmacist how to take their medication" to ensure "that the medication arrives in sufficient quantities where it is needed," emphasized Prof. Sandra Klein. ( fp)

Image: Photo credit: Tommy S. /

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