September 30, 2018
Different types of medications have different scheduling. While some are to be taken once, there are others that need to be taken twice, thrice or four times a day. When you have a once-daily medication, particularly on a long-term basis, the question of when is the best time to take my medication often comes up. The good news is that it usually does not matter, as long as you take the medication around the same time every day. However, for some drugs, this is not so.
Here are some of the medicines that may be affected by timing:
Blood pressure medications
Many people feel that they ought to take their anti-hypertensives in the morning, before hitting work while others take it at night for convenience sake. The most important thing for most doctors has always been simply ensuring that it gets taken daily. A recent Spanish study shows that taking some of these medicines at bedtime may actually reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Most doctors recommend that you take cholesterol-lowering drugs aka lipid-lowering drugs aka statins with your dinner in order to reap the maximum benefit. Examples of these drugs are atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and others whose names all basically end in ‘statin’. However, this rule may not apply to all the statins.
The timing for antidepressants often depends on the type of side effects that are common to the particular drug/class of drug you are on. It also varies between individuals. So if your medication makes you drowsy or tired in the hours after you use it, then it may make more sense to take them in the night. On the other hand, some keep you energized during the day or if taken close to bedtime they may result in difficulty in falling or staying asleep (insomnia). It would, therefore, be best to take these in the morning. Discuss these with your doctor.
Generally, once-daily antibiotics may be taken at any time of the day. The most important thing is to respect the rules by sticking to your schedule and finishing the course. Also, check the food and drink you consume with it. There are so many more things about using antibiotics that everyone should know.
Medications for peptic ulcer disease (particularly heartburn and hyperacidity) are usually recommended to be taken at night time. This is to combat the acid secretion of the stomach that often goes on unabated. There are others that are also to be taken before meals, so this is not a general rule.
The most important thing to do is to take your medications regularly and on schedule and sometimes, convenience is even more important thing. This is why you should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist about your specific case.
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