Medicines need to be taken for them to work. In the latest edition of Australian Prescriber, senior medicines information pharmacist Louise Grannell of Alfred Health, Melbourne, discusses when people should take their medicines.
“Should a medicine be taken in the morning or evening, and with or without food? Most important is that it fit into your daily routine,” says Grannell.
“Meal times can serve as a prompt for some patients to remember to take their medicines.
“Food alters how well some medicines are absorbed, so it’s important to take those medicines as directed relative to meals.
“If it’s hard for you to remember to take a medicine on an empty stomach, working with your health professional to change the dosage of that medicine could mean you can take it with a meal,” she says.
Some medicines need to be taken at specific times of the day.
“For example, taking steroids in the morning best mimics the body’s natural rhythm of steroids, and taking blood pressure medicines at night may reduce the number of heart problems,” says Grannell.
“Even if timing is not important, specific timing instructions are a good way to help remember taking them.
“No matter which medicines you take, your GP or pharmacist can help you find the best way to fit those medicines into your daily routine,” says Grannell.
The Australian Prescriber article discusses tailoring the timing of taking a broad range of medicines including analgescis, antibiotics, antidepressants, and blood pressure medicines.