If you have, say, 4 prescriptions that are all “take 3 times a day” you can often take the 4 medications at once, which is handy.
But some say “take on an empty stomach” and some say “take with food or milk”. If 2 of the 4 have those labels, they can’t be taken together. You need to take the first about half an hour before a meal. The other 2 may say nothing about food or say they can be taken with or without food. As long as nothing I bring up later comes up, you can take the others before breakfast or with it.
Maybe you take calcium in the form of Tums because you can swallow it, unlike the horse pill. A few pills say not to take with antacids. So watching when you take vitamins, especially chewable ones (horse pill calcium still slowly acts as an antacid, but the slower dissolving makes it not so much a factor).
Taking your sleeping pills in the morning (assuming you don’t work graveyard shift) would not make sense. Taking a medication meant to keep you alert, whether an ADHD drug or one for narcolepsy, with it is worse.
(I know that ADHD is more than lack of focus but when I am overfocused I am not alert to hunger, thirst, and can’t shift attention to the person asking me to do x long enough to remember that maybe I saw them but don’t know why).
Some antidepressants make you sleepy in their initial hours of working, others wake you up a bit during the same time. So advice to use one in the morning or the other at bedtime are for a reason.
There are problems with polypharmacy. This means the number of meds taken even if they are taken at different intervals on the same day as well as at the same time.
With each drug comes risks and contraindications, those that have additive effects and those who reduce the effectiveness of others. Some decrease adsorption of others for example calcium and magnesium. There are meds that need to be taken with meals and those that should be taken on an empty stomach. Some foods or beverages interfere with the metabolism of other drugs such as grapefruit juice.
Complicated instructions for each drug make compliance more difficult.
Sometimes conditions are complicated so there may need to be multiple approaches to controlling a condition and there is more information learned about pathophysiology every day. Multiple meds may be tried in an attempt to decrease side effects known to appear when higher doses of one agent are used. However, this still increases the chance that there will be interactions.
Your highest risk is Drug-Drug interactions that may result in adverse drug reactions (ADR). Preventable Adverse Drug Reactions: A Focus on Drug Interactions
According to the FDA ADRs cause 100,000 deaths annually. They result from drugs interacting in the body at two levels
- one drug may interfere with another drug’s mechanism of action (pharmacodynamic interactions)
- one drug may prevent or increase the metabolism (breakdown) and excretion (removal) of another drug (pharmacokinetic interactions) from the body thus
- diminishes drug levels due to faster removal or
- increases levels way above normal due to decreased removal.
- another possibility is the incidence of genetic mutations that alter ones ability to metabolize (breakdown) a drug
There are laboratory tests available that your doctor can request to help mitigate this consequences as well as identify possible drug drug interactions (DDI).
It all depends on what kind of drugs you take together.
You have to do internet researches to make sure the drugs you take together are not dangerous when taken together…
You could ask a Doctor but since there are thousands of drugs I don’t think they can know for sure. Unless they have a special tool reserved for them. It’s also the job of pharmacists, at least in France, to make sure that the Doctor’s prescriptions make sense.
Also, there are families of drugs, such as Benzodiazepines and Opioids. Taking both in high dosages can be very fatal.
What happens if we take medicine for a long time?
A medicine is a well proven drug. O. K?
Then what is a drug?
Drug is a substance capable of producing an alteration in the state of health of a healthy human being. Every medicine are, poison to our body at varying degrees. Only poisonous substances can produce an alteration in our health!
Our body constantly tries to keep it’s own equilibrium, and no external intervention is welcomed by our body. Whenever a medicine enter our body, the body tries to maintain the equilibrium by countering it’s action by producing an opposite reaction. Eg., When we take a tea or coffee, by the action of caffeine, we feel refreshed immediately. But trying to keep the equilibrium, the body goes to drowsiness after a while (15 minutes to one hour) which is experienced by all frequently. This is true with any other drug substance.
When you take a sleeping pill, you get a good sleep, but the next night, you can’t sleep without a pill, and after a few weeks, you will have to take 2 pills. The same is true with liquors, smoking, moisturizing creams, fairness creams, laxatives, anti hypersensitive drugs, tranquillizers, antidepressants, antipyretics, anticoagulants, antihistamines, thrombolytic drugs, bronchodialators, anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, mood elevators, and any such Allopathic drugs. These drugs when given for a long term, will finally cause a turmoil in our system resulting in incurable chronic diseases and organ failure.
This is the reason why we are facing an alarming increase in terminal illnesses,incurable chronic diseases and organ failure, since the rampant and indiscriminate use of strong allopathic drugs became the order of the day(for the past 20 to 30 years).
Don’t be misled by people claiming that “all modern medicines are harmful “ stuff. Total nonsense.
Many medicines especially for diabetes, hypertension, etc are MEANT to be used long term. Many others should be taken for prescribed duration.
Please note that NO homeopathic or other medicines have been studied for long term , it’s assumed that they are safe. Nobody knows for sure.
There are few reports of liver and kidney damage due to heavy metals used in no modern medicines. Proof not available as nobody has studied
What is the best time to take medicine?
A drug is basically a chemical with its own set of properties.
It can interact with other drugs or even with food, which can alter its properties. Or it has its own properties that are best expressed at a particular time.
So, when you are prescribed a drug, your Doctor best knows and advises you the perfect time frame to take that drug.
Here are a few examples :
Thyroxine – Best taken one hour before breakfast, and earlier in the morning, because of variations in hormonal surges in body.
Pantoprazole – Best taken 30 mins before breakfast/ meal, because it blocks acid production pre-meal.
Acetyl Salicylic Acid (Aspirin) – Never to be taken on an empty stomach, because it can generate gastric ulcers.
Atorvastatin – Best taken bed time, because cholesterol synthesis and enzymatic activity for it are highest at night time.
Antibiotics – Usually taken 1-1.5 hrs after meal, since food interferes with the absorption.
Iron tablets/ capsules – Not to be taken with milk, since milk does not allow iron absorption.
Montelukast – Taken in the evening around 5 PM, for allergies it being the peak time.
Furosemide – Best taken in the morning, no rocket science here but simple logic – it is a diuretic meaning it induces urination. You wouldn’t want to take it bed time and having to get up in the middle of the night a multiple times to pass urine.
There are many more examples to quote. Each has its own set of reasons. But you will find that they are not so confusing when you follow the instructions of your Doctor carefully.
- Each medicine is prescribed for a specific ailment and hence they have to be taken as instructed by the doctor.
- Though there is no best time for the consumption of medicines, it can be stated that medicines are either consumed before food, after food or as and when needed.
- Some drugs are usually taken on fixed periods and this can be considered as a general rule.
- Drugs used to relieve indigestion, heartburn and acidity are usually consumed on an empty stomach.
- Pain relievers, analgesics, muscle relaxants and other anti-inflammatory drugs must be taken after meals.
- Vitamin and iron supplements are usually advised to be taken on an empty stomach to increase their absorption.
- Medicines to be taken at night: This includes drugs used to treat blood pressure, cholesterol, migraine and allergies.
- Diuretics and antidepressants are usually taken in the morning as these disturb the sleep if taken at night.