Consumer Tips \ Inside the Medicine Chest

Why Some Medications Should Be Taken With Food

Many people have questions about how to follow those food labels on their medication bottle.

If your label says, "TAKE WITH FOOD," do you really HAVE to chow down or can you skip the snack and just go ahead and pop the pills?

Some drugs, like ibuprofen or aspirin, can irritate the stomach lining if you take them when you're empty. So, they really need your breakfast in there to act as a cushion.

Other meds, like those for blood pressure, mix up with the food so they can move very slowly into your system, to get their full effect.

If your bottle says, "Take on an empty stomach," that's a drug that doesn't want ANY competition from food. You're gonna want to take this one hour before eating, or wait two hours after a meal.

Then there's the water--some people like to pop the pill without water.

But you really do need some liquid to wash it down, and help it dissolve in your stomach. Just a glassful will do, but if you're in a really big rush, at least slurp up a few gulps at the water cooler.

Remember, if you have questions about your medication...you can always ask your pharmacist for advice! I'm Doug White inside the medicine chest.


This entry last modified on: March 15, 2013 12:26 PM

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About the Video

Should you take your medicine with food or on an empty stomach? Pharmacist Doug White explains why meals—even that glass of water—matter with some medications.

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