If a doctor has ever prescribed you medication, you’re likely familiar with the lengthy list of instructions they can give for taking that medication. One of the most frequent instructions doctors can give is to take it either on an empty stomach or with a meal. If you aren’t familiar with how the body metabolizes drugs or how food can impact drug metabolization, you may wonder why some drugs need to be taken with food.
Read on to find out why it’s vital to listen to these orders from your physician.
To Reduce Side Effects
Stomach irritation and nausea are common side effects of many prescription drugs. In some cases, users may experience vomiting, indigestion, or even develop an ulcer. Taking these types of medications with food can lessen the likelihood of experiencing one or all of these side effects. Even a small snack, such as pretzels or toast, before taking your daily dose can help.
To Improve Absorption
Drugs are very sensitive to the conditions in our stomachs. For example, some medications dissolve completely in stomach acid. These are typically the types of drugs you must take on an empty stomach. Conversely, other medications will absorb best when accompanied by a meal or a substantial snack. If your doctor recommends consuming your medicine with food, it’s probably because that food will help increase absorption so that the medication works as effectively as possible.
To Create Consistency
Another vital component of reaping the benefits of medication is to create a consistent schedule. Whether you have to take your medication with or without food, the more consistent your routine is, the more effective the drug will be.
Understanding why some drugs need to be taken with food is not as complicated as it may seem. Simply put, taking food with certain medications will allow them to function more efficiently and protect you from unpleasant side effects.