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We use various medications: a pill against headaches, something for sleep, for breaking bones, for lowering blood pressure. We take a handful of pills every day. Then we worry that they are not helping. What should we remember if our medicines are to serve us well? How to take medication?

Why is it so important to knowhow to take medication ? Even aspirin can be harmful, because everydrughas side effects. The dose of chemical compounds that stimulate the work of the diseased organ, at the same time reacts with other drugs and with food and drink. Herbs, vitamins andsupplementsare also not indifferent to the body and may affect the action of other drugs. How to minimize these undesirable effects?

Taking medication: more is not better

If you go from doctor to doctor, and everyone prescribes new medications, it often turns out that they are preparations with opposite or the same effect. Some medications can also increase each other's side effects.

Taking various painkillers at once (prescribed for example by a rheumatologist, internist and dentist) guarantees peptic ulcer disease, because each of these preparations destroys the gastric mucosa. If an internist has prescribed something for high blood pressure, tell the cardiologist (and vice versa) so that you don't get another medicine that works the same way. Taking both drugs can lead to chronic kidney failure and even result in death.

Our advice:

  • Most ailments can be de alt with by the primary care physician. If you are under the care of one doctor, it will be easier to select the preparations so that they heal without harm.
  • Inform every doctor about all medications you take, including those that can be bought over the counter.
  • Take your medication when you really need it.
  • Before reaching for the pill, try other means. If you are constipated, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink a glass of warm milk for sleep.

Read also: Drug interactions with food

  • Ask your doctor what foods may impair the effects of your medications.
  • Make sure you can drive a car or drink alcohol during the therapy.
  • Ask them to write down exactly how to take each medicine. Carry the card with you. It will make it easierproviding help in case of fainting outside the home.
  • If you forget to take your medications, buy a container for tablets at a pharmacy, broken down by time of day or day of the week.

How to take medications to make them really help

It is wrong to think: "I already have good blood pressure, so I stop poisoning myself with drugs", because it is thanks to the pills that it remains normal. Also, take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. Extending the intervals between successive tablets promotes bacteria, and discontinuation of the treatment may immunize them or lead to their relapse. The time of taking the drug is also important. Most of the preparations are taken after eating. However, before eating, medications that aid digestion (eg Pancreatinum, Kreon) and some antidiabetic preparations are taken, because they must be absorbed and released into the digestive system before it begins digestion. On an empty stomach, you also take hormonal drugs (e.g. Euthyrox, Eltroxin) and iron preparations, because they are better absorbed.

Our advice:

  • Do not change the dose of the drug or stop the treatment without consulting your doctor. If you do not tolerate the therapy well or you do not see any improvement, tell the doctor who will correct the treatment on his own - he will change the dose or prescribe a different preparation.
  • If the manufacturer recommends taking the drug before eating, then you should take it before eating, if after - then after. Disregarding this recommendation results in poor absorption of the preparation and increases the risk of interactions.
  • Take medications in the form in which they were produced. Do not divide tablets that do not have a factory graduation. Do not chew the dragees (in the colored coating) or pour the preparation from the capsules. They are coated so that they begin to be absorbed only in the appropriate part of the digestive system, e.g. in the small intestine. Some do not work when they are bitten, because the hydrochloric acid in the stomach will destroy them before they reach the intestine. There are also preparations mounted on a skeleton (eg Kalipoz), which does not dissolve, but is excreted in the faeces. So don't worry if you find a tablet fragment in the faeces.

Herbs are effective, but not for everything

They are perfect for minor ailments, e.g. colds, indigestion, nervousness. But they are not a substitute for pharmacological treatment of serious diseases. Moreover, if they provide temporary relief, they delay diagnosis and initiation of appropriate therapy. Sometimes they also interact with other medications. If they are overdosed, they can be harmful.

Our advice:

  • Before buying a herbal preparation, it is better to consult your doctor. do itnecessarily when you take any medications.
  • No herbs should be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, or given to children without consulting a pediatrician.
  • Allergy sufferers should give up herbal therapy. Some plant preparations contain sensitizing substances that may aggravate allergy symptoms and even cause anaphylactic shock.

OTC drugs in moderation

They are safe when used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and general rules of taking medications. It's just that they often contain the same substances (only in lower concentrations) that are present in those prescribed by the doctor. Then we unconsciously increase the dose of active compounds, which can be even dangerous to he alth. Besides, by using them, we do not cure ailments, we only mask it. And yet it can be a really serious disease.

Our advice:

  • Use over-the-counter medications on an ad hoc basis, as they can make a proper diagnosis difficult and lead to addiction.
  • If you are taking any medications, give up self-treatment at all. If you want to additionally take another preparation, consult your doctor
  • Read leaflets. They determine the dose, method of taking, side effects, diseases and medications that preclude the use of the preparation.
  • When you suddenly feel unwell, do not use any means that random people want to "save" you. Also, do not heal yourself with what helped your neighbor. Everyone gets sick differently and reacts differently to medications. In addition, the remedy may interact with the one you are already taking. The combination of some cardiac preparations can even lead to death.
You must do it
  • Medications should be washed down with still or cool boiled mineral water. It cannot be hot, as it will dissolve the pill's "shell" before it reaches the digestive tract where it is to be absorbed.
  • Most drugs lose their effectiveness when taken with fruit juices.
  • The combination of a blood thinner with grapefruit juice may cause a hemorrhage. It is better not to combine grapefruits with antihistamines, hypnotics and anti-reflux drugs.
  • No alcoholic beverages (including beer) are suitable for sipping.

Some food products weaken or accelerate the action of the drug, and even be dangerous to your he alth. Those high in fiber reduce the absorption of some heart and anti-depressant preparations. Fat accelerates the penetration of antidepressants and drugs that reduce breathlessness. When you eat sensibly and keep a safe distance between your meal and taking your medication, you will be finethreatens.

Read also: Taking medications: what to drink medications

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