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Time For Taking Tablets

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naomi24 | 13:16 Fri 19th Apr 2024 | Body & Soul
12 Answers

I've been taking prescription medication at bedtime but the new batch says it's to be taken 30 to 60 minutes before food.  Does it matter if I carry on taking it at bedtime several hours after I've eaten?



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I personally wouldn't change the time I took the medication. My understanding is that the advice to take with food, for most medications (not all), is to try and limit the risk of causing an upset stomach.

Are you able to say what medication it is Naomi? I get that you may not wish to, as it could be rather personal/private.

A biscuit would be enough.  A good excuse for a bedtime hobnob

Dizmo's comment about "protecting" your stomach would make sense if the pills were taken 30-60 minutes AFTER food, not before.

Personally, I'd do what the new batch of pills says.

When a prescription says food it means a snack size or a small meal.  I would say the minimum would be a slice of toast.  A biscuit is not really enough except perhaps with a milk based drink.  I can't see you being the sort to eat enough biscuits to meet the requirements. Approx 4-5 digestive size.  3-4 cookie type .  You will need to bring your evening dose forward enough to allow you to eat before bedtime

Agree it all depends on the medication and side effects. Because one of mine made me feel nauseous I always took it at bedtime with GP ok

Banana and yoghurt also good and sandwich with milky drink

My guess is that it may be less effective and needs the stomach digesting the meal to maximise efficacy. But better than not taking it I reckon.

That, to me, is an ambiguous statement. Does it mean that you MUST NOT eat for at least 30 mins after taking them OR that you MUST eat about 30 mins after taking them? In other words, is it essential that you don't eat too soon after taking them because it will reduce how effective they are OR that you must eat about 30 mins after taking them to avoid them damaging your stomach?

Question Author

My thoughts exactly, bhg.  I can't make head nor tail of it.  I'm not a food lover so there's no way I could eat anything after my evening meal.   Perhaps I'll change it to mornings before breakfast just to be on the safe side.  Thanks for your answers everyone.

Given that it may not be easy to contact the doctor quickly, ask the pharmacist for advice?

It is because it needs to be taken on an empty stomach. It is easier to take it before a meal as you can take one hour before. If you take it after food then it is difficult to know when your stomach is empty. Usually by a few hours after a meal the stomach has fully emptied, but some advice will say to give the stomach more time just to be on the safe side.

Question Author

Thank you, Robert1984 - and welcome to the AnswerBank.  

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