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How does food intake affect medicine? Why pill instructions recommends taking them before (after) meal?

How does food intake affect medicine? Why pill instructions recommends taking them before (after) meal?


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Even simple vitamins seem to have this in the instruction. Why is is so? Is there some simple model of how do pills interact with food? Does it depend on the food type? (What about drinks?)

Should not eating at all on some day be considered "before food" or "after food"?


From the Merck website :

Drug absorption is the movement of a drug into the bloodstream after administration.

Absorption affects bioavailability-how quickly and how much of a drug reaches its >intended target (site) of action. Factors that affect absorption (and therefore >bioavailability) include

1.The way a drug product is designed and manufactured

2.Its physical and chemical properties

3.Other ingredients it contains

4.The physiologic characteristics of the person taking the drug

5.How the drug is stored

If a tablet releases the drug too quickly, the blood level of the drug may become too high, causing an excessive response. If the tablet does not release the drug quickly enough, much of the drug may be eliminated in the feces without being absorbed, and blood levels may be too low. Drug manufacturers formulate the tablet to release the drug at the desired speed.

Essentially, most drug's absorption rates are slowed down by food in the digestive tract, which is beneficial for various reasons depending on the drug. Some pills are irritants to the stomach, in which case they usually have a coating that may need an acidic environment to break down. Food would assist in this, as well as serving as a sort of diluting agent and even a physical barrier for the stomach. Conversely, some nutrients (and certain pharmaceuticals) are absorbed by the stomach lining and small intestine much more efficiently when the body is actively digesting food, which is why vitamins and other supplements have the food recommendation.

I think that 'before or after' food should be read as 'shortly before or after', i.e., so food and pill are digested simultaneously. Otherwise, I believe they just don't mention it. Of course, this is a simplistic rendering of pharmacological absorption vis a vis food (there are some very specific interactions; grapefruit and various blood pressure medications come to mind), but this is the general answer to your general question, I believe.


For an abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol, you will need to take one 200mg pill of mifepristone and four to eight 200mcg pills of misoprostol. You’ll also want to have a painkiller on hand, like ibuprofen, to help manage pain. Acetaminophen and paracetamol do not work for pain during an abortion so they are not recommended.

Here’s how mifepristone and misoprostol are taken together to end a pregnancy:

Step 1:

Swallow one 200mg pill of mifepristone with water.

Step 2:

Step 3:

Place 4 misoprostol pills (200 mcg each) under your tongue and hold them there for 30 minutes as they dissolve. You should not speak or eat for these 30 minutes, so it is good to be someplace quiet where you will not be disturbed. After 30 minutes, drink some water and swallow everything that is left of the pills. This is also a good time to take a painkiller like ibuprofen, as the cramping will start soon.

You should begin bleeding and cramping within 3 hours of using the 4 misoprostol pills.

Step 4:

24 hours after taking the 4 misoprostol pills, if you didn’t start to bleed, or if you are unsure that the abortion worked, place 4 more pills of misoprostol under your tongue. Hold them there for 30 minutes as they dissolve. After 30 minutes, drink some water and swallow everything that is left of the pills.


How Does Food Impact Health?

The food we eat gives our bodies the "information" and materials they need to function properly. If we don't get the right information, our metabolic processes suffer and our health declines.

If we get too much food, or food that gives our bodies the wrong instructions, we can become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for the development of diseases and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.

In short, what we eat is central to our health. Consider that in light of Webster's definition of medicine: "The science and art dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention, alleviation, or cure of disease."

Food acts as medicine--to maintain, prevent, and treat disease.

What does food do in our bodies?

The nutrients in food enable the cells in our bodies to perform their necessary functions. This quote from a popular textbook describes how the nutrients in food are essential for our physical functioning.

"Nutrients are the nourishing substances in food that are essential for the growth, development and maintenance of body functions. Essential meaning that if a nutrient is not present, aspects of function and therefore human health decline. When nutrient intake does not regularly meet the nutrient needs dictated by the cell activity, the metabolic processes slow down or even stop."

- Perspectives in Nutrition, Wardlow and Insel Get examples of food as information

In other words, nutrients give our bodies instructions about how to function. In this sense, food can be seen as a source of "information" for the body.

Thinking about food in this way gives us a view of nutrition that goes beyond calories or grams, good foods or bad foods. This view leads us to focus on foods we should include rather than foods to exclude.

Instead of viewing food as the enemy, we look to food as a way to create health and reduce disease by helping the body maintain function.

Our Standard American Diet (SAD) is not contributing to our health. Learn about some of the issues.

Our supermarkets are full of convenient packaged foods that appeal to our taste buds, but compromise our nutrition. Because most of these foods' natural nutrients are removed in the refining process, we need to get them elsewhere.

Our Standard American Diet relies heavily on processed foods that include artificial color, additives, flavorings, and chemically-altered fats and sweeteners. These additives and chemically altered substances may be giving our bodies the wrong signals, instead of the information they need to function properly.

Our food is not the same as it was 20 years ago. Nutrients in the soil have been depleted, so food grown in that soil has fewer nutrients. Chemicals are increasingly used in raising both plants and animals, particularly on huge industrial farms that specialize in a few products.

Ironically, while 17,000 new products are introduced each year, two-thirds of our calories come from just four foods: corn, soy, wheat, and rice.

We tend to eat for convenience and speed, not health and pleasure. Our fast foods also remove us from the pleasures of creating and savoring a wonderful meal, and our fast pace often prevents us from connecting over a good, slow meal.

What is the connection between food and disease?

As a society we are facing significant health problems.

  • The United States ranks ninth in life expectancy among nations in the developed world.
  • We have a workforce plagued with absenteeism and reduced productivity because of chronic health problems, including depression.
  • 78 percent of healthcare expenditures are for the treatment of chronic disease.

Many researchers now believe that these problems are partly related to diet. While they used to believe that diseases-such as type II diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers - were caused by a single gene mutation, they are now generally attributing these conditions to a network of biological dysfunction. And the food we eat is an important factor in that dysfunction, in part because our diets lack the necessary balance of nutrients (Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2004).Learn about specific nutrients you need and how to get them

To prevent the onset of these diseases, we need to know how multiple nutrients in a diet interact and affect the human body's functions, according to the Nutrition Society, Europe's largest nutritional organization. Functional Medicine is a dynamic approach to assessing, preventing, and treating complex and chronic diseases using nutrition. This area of healthcare also conducts research on the role that nutrition plays in health.

The Functional Medicine Perspective

One component of Functional Medicine focuses on how diet impacts health and function. When Functional Medicine practitioners examine the role of nutrition in chronic disease, they look at multiple systems, such as the digestive system, the immune system, and the detoxification system, because of the interconnections between those systems. For instance, because 80% of the immune system is contained in the gastrointestinal system, a person's issues with immunity could be related to faulty digestion.

Functional Medicine maintains that chronic disease is almost always preceded by a period of declining health in one or more of the body's systems. Thus, these practitioners seek to identify early the symptoms that indicate underlying dysfunction, possibly leading to disease.

One of the ways Functional Medicine seeks to address declining health is to provide the foods and nutrients needed to restore function. This is a cost effective, non-invasive intervention that aims to stop the progression into disease.

Example of Cardiovascular Disease

When taking a nutritional approach to health and disease, it is important to understand that one disease might have multiple causes, and one underlying dysfunction might cause multiple diseases. Cardiovascular disease may be among the clearest examples of this concept.

Researchers have shown that the development of heart disease can be triggered by multiple factors. These factors include insulin resistance, elevated homocysteine, oxidative stress, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, heavy metal toxicity, stress, and inflammation. Each of these factors can be influenced by nutrition and each, in turn, impact our nutritional needs. This applies both to the prevention and treatment of these factors (Textbook of Functional Medicine).

For example, a 2007 study shows the importance of optimal mineral balance and how a deficiency in mineral balance can contribute to the development of congestive heart failure (Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 2007).

Lynn sees huge health benefits with new approach to food

At her first visit to a nutritionist, Lynn (53), just had one goal: "I need to get healthy!" Her cholesterol was elevated (including triglycerides), and she had taken Lipitor for five years. Her blood pressure had been elevated in the past. She had acid reflux and had been on Zantac for 15 years. Find out what happened.

Lynn works with nutritionist and sees huge health benefits

At her first visit to a nutritionist, Lynn (53), just had one goal: "I need to get healthy!" Her cholesterol was elevated (including triglycerides), and she had taken Lipitor for five years. Her blood pressure had been elevated in the past. She had acid reflux and had been on Zantac for 15 years.

She slept poorly and experienced sleep apnea and extreme fatigue. She was taking hormone replacement therapy for hormonal headaches that had plagued her for years. She had experienced swollen, painful joints for many years, which had developed into osteoarthritis. Her bowels tended toward constipation, and she craved bread and sweets.

The nutritionist noted her systemic inflammation, water retention, swelling, and constipation and suspected a food sensitivity. She suggested that Lynn eliminate corn, dairy, and wheat from her diet keep track of her body's reaction to the changes and then gradually introduce these foods one at a time.

When Lynn returned four weeks later, she had determined through the elimination diet that she had a corn sensitivity. Since eliminating corn, she reported feeling much better, and the pain in her back and legs had diminished. Her constipation was relieved and much of the swelling and fluid retention also improved. Lynn reported that "I lost only five pounds, but I feel smaller."

Returning at eight weeks, Lynn reported that the, "changes have been easy." She had lost 20 pounds and her energy was much improved: "I wake up ready for the day." She was walking a mile and a half each day and her cravings for sugar had also diminished, much to her delight. She reported feeling more in control of her eating.

At 12 weeks, Lynn said the changes were becoming habit. "I feel so much better." Her energy continued to improve she had lost a total of 27 pounds, and she experienced less pain.


Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Apple cider vinegar and ACV pills are also used for glycemic control. According to a May 2017 review in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, vinegar consumption may improve glycemic control. This fermented beverage has been proven effective at lowering blood sugar and insulin levels in several studies. None of them involved ACV pills, though.

Another review, published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine in May 2018 shows that vinegar may cause a small but significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) within eight to 12 weeks. Elevated HbA1c levels are often a sign of diabetes, points out the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Medical professionals check its levels in the bloodstream to diagnose or rule out this disease and to monitor blood sugar.

Apple cider vinegar is also promoted as an antimicrobial, anti-hypertensive and anticarcinogenic agent. Again, most studies and clinical trials were small or conducted on rats, which limit their validity. The experts at Tufts University, for instance, state that ACV is unlikely to reduce blood pressure or aid in weight loss.


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Absorption of medicines from the gut

Eating food triggers multiple physiological changes, including increased blood flow to the gut, the release of bile, and changes in the pH (acidity) and motility of the gut. These physiological changes can affect the amount of medicine absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream, which can then impact on the body’s response to a medicine.

Certain medicines are recommended to be given with food because the physiological changes after eating can increase the amount of medicine absorbed by the body. Itraconazole capsules (used to treat certain fungal infections), for instance, should be taken with food, and in some cases acidic drinks such as cola, because this product needs an acidic environment to be absorbed.

In other cases, changes in gut secretions and the digestive process can reduce the effectiveness of a medicine. Certain antibiotics, such as phenoxymethylpenicillin (also known as penicillin V), are best taken on an empty stomach as they can be less effective after prolonged exposure to acidic conditions.

Skip the breakfast grapefruit when taking certain medications. liz west/Flickr, CC BY

Food can act as a physical barrier to the surface of the gut wall and prevent certain medicines being absorbed into the bloodstream.

Specific components of food, such as calcium or iron, may also bind to certain medicines. This can reduce absorption into the bloodstream, and lead to reduced effectiveness. For this reason, osteoporosis medicines risedronate and alendronate must be taken on an empty stomach with water only.

Taking certain medicines with food can reduce the risk of side effects. Diabetes medicines such as gliclazide or glimepiride (belonging to the group of medicines known as sulfonylureas), for example, should be taken with food to reduce the risk of low blood sugar.

Taking medicines such as ibuprofen (for pain and inflammation) or metformin (for diabetes) with food is also recommended to reduce nausea and stomach upset.


Drug Interactions and Calcium Pills

If you're taking other prescription medications, ask your doctor about the best time to take calcium tablets — or whether it's recommended for you to take them at all. Supplemental calcium can interfere with other drugs. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, specific medications you should probably not mix with calcium pills include:

  • Thiazide diuretics (Diuril, Microzide), prescribed to treat high blood pressure. Calcium pills taken alongside thiazide diuretics can increase the risk of hypercalcemia, which is when the calcium levels in your blood are higher than normal.
  • Tetracycline, a type of antibiotic, should be taken two hours before calcium pills or four to six hours after calcium pills. This is because supplementary calcium can decrease tetracycline absorption.
  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levo-T), typically used for treating hypothyroidism, should be taken two hours before calcium pills or four to six hours after calcium pills. Supplementary calcium pills can decrease levothyroxine absorption, potentially making the medicine less effective.

These are just a few examples of how calcium pills can interact with other medications, so always check with your physician about any drugs you are currently taking before you add supplementary calcium to your regimen.


Video—Staying Active and Healthy with Blood Thinners

People often worry about how routine medicines like blood thinner pills will affect their lifestyles. With a few simple steps, taking a blood thinner can be safe and easy. In fact, more than 2 million people take blood thinners every day to keep them from developing dangerous blood clots. Staying Active and Healthy with Blood Thinners is a 10-minute video that shows how small changes in daily routines can help people take blood thinners safely.

What is a blood thinner? What does it do? Why it is helpful? These questions are answered in this video, which features easy-to-understand explanations of how blood thinners work and why it's important to take them correctly. It also introduces BEST, an easy way to remember how to fit blood thinner medication into daily life.

Be Careful
Eat Right
Stick to a Routine
Test Regularly


BENEFITS OF Golo

So it says that this product helps your body control the sugar processing, which means it helps your cells to absorb glucose easily but also prevents the buildup of fat created by the body. In most cases, your body cannot absorb all the sugar you have ingested, so GOLO claims to help lower your blood sugar, reduces your food/calorie intake, minimizes cravings, and stimulates your body to burn fat and not to store it. Not only that, but GOLO claims it will also give you a boost in energy and make it easier for you to do your daily chores and work out harder than usual.

However, as we researched more and came across some customer feedback, things did not seem as good as it was advertised because many consumers did not achieve the results they were promised.

Another problem was that the customers who bought the product did not receive it AND WERE STILL CHARGED, some of them even saying that the company takes your money from your credit card after you cancel your monthly subscription (even though you did not buy and don’t want to buy their product anymore).

That leaves us feeling concerned about the ethics of this company and brand, regardless of whether or not it even gets results. That’s why we recommend a company that DOES have a solid track record and a product that works.

Check out Glucose Disposal Agent by 1st Phorm if you want to avoid getting ripped off and want to get real results.


9. Common questions about Buscopan

Buscopan relieves stomach cramps and period pains by helping your digestive system and bladder relax.

It does this by reducing the wave-like contractions of the muscle in the walls of the stomach, bowel and bladder.

Buscopan helps to treat stomach cramps and period pains, but does not cure them.

Buscopan tablets start to work within 15 minutes. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 2 weeks.

Do not take Buscopan for longer than 2 weeks. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms change, get worse or have not improved in the meantime.

Your doctor will want to rule out an illness that may be causing your symptoms.

If it's on the advice of your doctor, you can take Buscopan for longer.

Buscopan is safe to take for a long time (more than 3 months) as long as you take the recommended dose and you're not having any side effects.

Buscopan Cramps and Buscopan IBS Relief are essentially identical.

The tablets in each contain the same active ingredient (hyoscine butylbromide) and in the same strength (10mg).

But the 2 products are marketed differently:

  • Buscopan Cramps is targeted at stomach cramps. It can also be used to relieve period pain and the cramping pains some people get with IBS. It's only available from behind the pharmacy counter, and can be taken by adults and children over the age of 6 years.
  • Buscopan IBS Relief is targeted at IBS that's been confirmed by a doctor. It's for adults and children 12 years old and over. And the dose can be varied according to how severe your symptoms are. It's available from supermarkets as well as pharmacies.

Buscopan IBS Relief is available from most pharmacies and supermarkets.

Buscopan Cramps is only available from behind the pharmacy counter.

Usually it's best not to take Buscopan at the same time as other IBS remedies – just take one or the other.

Yes, you can take Buscopan at the same time as everyday painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen.

There are other IBS remedies, including peppermint oil (Colpermin) and mebeverine (Colofac).

Peppermint oil and mebeverine are also antispasmodic remedies. They work in a similar way to Buscopan to relax stomach muscles and ease painful cramps.

Both peppermint oil and mebeverine are available to buy from high street pharmacies. Mebeverine is also available on prescription.

There's no firm evidence to suggest that taking Buscopan will reduce fertility in either men or women.

But if you're trying to get pregnant, speak to a pharmacist or your doctor before taking it. They may want to review your treatment.

Buscopan does not affect any type of contraception, including the contraceptive pill or emergency contraception.

Buscopan can give you blurred vision or make you dizzy. If this happens to you, do not drive, cycle or use machinery or tools until it's worn off.

Yes, you can drink alcohol with Buscopan.

But try to keep to the recommended guidelines of no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

A standard glass of wine (175ml) is 2 units. A pint of lager or beer is usually 2 to 3 units of alcohol.

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to prevent or ease painful stomach cramps and IBS.

It can really help to understand which, if any, foods trigger your cramps and then reduce or remove them from your diet.

Common triggers include caffeine, fizzy drinks and fried food.

It can also help to control your stress levels – for example, by doing breathing exercises or trying a relaxation therapy such as yoga, Pilates or meditation.

Aim to exercise 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Regular activity is good for your digestive system.