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Things To Keep In Mind Before Taking Medicines

19 September, 2020 Kritika Tak

Role of medicines in our lives:

When it comes to medicines, be it those prescription meds one takes during any treatment or those over-the-counter pills we pop-out on day to day basis. No one can deny the fact that medicines have become an integral part of our lives. No wonder pharmaceutical companies have reached $55 billion by this year. 

Before discussing what all things one should keep in mind while taking medicines, we must first go through, how medication helps us.

How medication helps us:

  • It helps in the prevention of disease and injury 
  • Even in the promotion and maintenance of one's health and well being.
  • Helps in relieving one from pain and suffering caused by ailments and injuries.
  • Provides the care and cure to those who are suffering.
  • Assists in avoiding premature death and 
  • Helps in supporting peaceful death.

Things to keep in mind:

Here are some things one must take care of while using any medication. These include -

Be aware of the expiry date:

While checking the MRP, one must check the expiry date of the tablets or any healthcare product you are purchasing. The same rule applies when you are about to consume that medicine, as medicines are there to help you in getting better and not to make your situation worst. And we all know consuming any medicine after it's expiry date increases the risk of hampering your health. 

The Deadly Combinations:

There are certain medications that one should not take together. And the best way to dodge this deadly bullet is to ask your health care provider about it. Listen carefully while the pharmacist is telling you about them, and in case you failed to understand it the first time, there is no harm in asking it again.

Precautions for OTC over-the-counter drugs:

We all know when to take simple medicines like Paracetamol or Asprin or many other OTC medicines. But these OTC drugs have the potential to cause some side effects in your body too. So it's better to consult a pharmacist or doctor while purchasing it and before consuming it. Googling everything won't help you here. Consume medicine after getting a green signal from your health care provider. 

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Timing of Eating:

When did you had your meal or ate something, is another crucial question one must ask before or while consuming any medication. Mostly, medicines are taken after eating, yet there are some which must be taken on an empty stomach. The reason being - the food might kill the effect and, the medicine won't work in your body efficiently. So, ask your doctor, at what time interval you should take your medication before or after eating. 

Timing of taking tablets:

Well, some consider nighttime as the best time to take medicines, as some cholesterol meds are consumed at night, as they work efficiently at that point in time only. The other reason is to avoid drowsiness or dizziness caused by them and, the rest of the other meds are consumed during the daytime. So, ask your doctor about the best time to take your prescribed medicines and use them as directed. 

Is consistency the key:

Yes, doctors say, a course of antibiotics is for three days minimum. So, take medicines on time and as directed by your doctor. Don't leave that course in-between and expect the results to be the same. Sometimes takes time to heal, and your doctor knows better, so please listen to him/her.

When to stop:

Overusing medicines is becoming a habit these days and a bad one, as many of the people use them when it's not even needed. There is even a term coined for this and, it's known as - polypharmacy. It's when a person takes more than five medicines. The reason why one must avoid overusing is, many health hazards get introduced to one's body when they start overusing medications. One of them is medication overuse headaches, where one starts having withdrawal symptoms like nervousness and restlessness. 

How to store medicine:

This point may not have to do anything with the consumption or how to take medicine. But, you must have read on the labels, esp on those eye drops, where it says, "store it in a cool and dry place". Well, there is a reason behind that too. As evidence suggests - ophthalmic medications and certain glaucoma medications quality may degrade or, a breakdown takes place when and if they get too warm, or when they are kept too long at room temperature. So, next time read all the labels before storing your medicines. 


Take care of your self and your family members and remember consulting with a doctor is very important.