Only about one-third of all patients take their doctor's prescribed medication correctly. The mistakes that happen when taking medicine often seem trivial, but can lead to a significant reduction in active ingredients. These are the most important basic rules for taking oral medicines:
Observe time intervals!
A medicine can only work effectively in the body if you keep to the intervals of taking the medicine – as prescribed by the doctor or according to the package insert.
1x a day: Always take the medicine at the same time of day if possible.
2x a day: Do not take the next dose until twelve hours have elapsed.
3 times a day: Be sure to take your medication at least eight hours apart – "morning, noon, night" is far too inaccurate!
Keep to the time!
Timing determines how quickly and at what point in the digestive tract the active ingredient enters the body. Specifically, taking
… on an empty stomach: You must not eat anything for an hour afterwards.
… before eating: at least one hour before. The medication is not supposed to work until it reaches the intestines and has a coating that protects the active ingredient from aggressive gastric juices or decomposition by food.
… while eating: To protect your stomach, mixing of the active ingredient with food pulp is intentional.
… after a meal: Food mush should have left your stomach before you take the drug. This is the case at the earliest one hour after eating.
Oral medications should be taken with a glass of lukewarm water. It passes through the gastric tract particularly quickly, tricking the stomach into thinking it's "full," thus driving digestion – and carrying the active ingredient to the intestines in the shortest possible time, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Never swallow medicines with milk, fruit juices, cola, coffee, black or green tea. Adverse interactions may occur. Milk and fruit juices also linger twice as long in the stomach.
Adhering to the end of therapy!
Symptoms are gone, you feel well again – then you can stop the medication earlier? Under no circumstances! Always take medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed. If you do not complete your therapy, for example, an infection may flare up again. Your immune system is weakened by the disease. Needs drug support even after initial improvement. There may still be a few pathogens in your body that are spreading again. Even if you underdose or overdose medicine at your own discretion, relapses or complications can occur.
Swallow, don't chew!
Many tablets for swallowing have a special coating so that the active ingredient is not released in the stomach, but only in the intestines. If you start chewing, you destroy this protection and the active substance is decomposed by the gastric juice. You have problems swallowing? Then take capsules& Co standing up or sitting upright with a large glass of tap water. You might burp from carbonated mineral water. Choke on the tablet.
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