What is the difference between taking medicine before meals or after meals?
One sentence can be summarized: take medicine before meals, there is no food in gastrointestinal tract; Take medicine after meals. There is food in gastrointestinal tract.
As for your medicine, how to take it, I’ll teach you a simple principle, remember, next time I change the medicine, I also know how to take it.
Of course, I hope you don’t need to take medicine.
The human body is like a complex network of roads.
Although there is only one word difference, these two different ways of taking drugs will make the absorption process of drugs in the human body different.
The absorption process of drugs in human body is a relatively complicated process in terms of pharmacokinetics. However, if it only involves taking before or after meals, we do not need to know so many parameters, which can be roughly understood as the driving process of vehicles on the highway. Drugs are those vehicles; The human body is an intricate network of roads.
The gastrointestinal tract is the main route
Oral drugs have to enter the human body’s road network. There is only one entrance, that is the oral cavity. After entering the oral cavity, it will pass through a main road, that is the gastrointestinal tract. This main road runs through the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Most drugs [travel] to the small intestine, and will find an exit from here and leave the main road. This is because the pH value in the small intestine is nearly neutral and the mucosal absorption area is wide, which is the main absorption site.
A red light on the main road
Is what a red light on the main road?
If you take the medicine before meals, the medicine will be unimpeded when passing through the main gastrointestinal tract, all the way to the small intestine, where it will be absorbed and then enter the systemic circulation of the whole body. However, if the medicine is taken after meals, when the medicine enters the stomach, it will encounter [red light]-food blockage. Thus, it is mixed with food and slowly enters the small intestine to be absorbed.
Therefore, if you want the drug to work quickly, you can consider taking it before meals.
How do destructive vehicles pass?
When some vehicles pass through the main road alone, they will cause damage to the main road, such as excavators…
These vehicles mainly refer to drugs that are irritating to the stomach. For example, aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, antibiotics and other drugs, due to their acidity, can directly or indirectly damage gastric mucosa, causing upper abdominal discomfort, nausea and vomiting, and even inflammation and ulcer. We do not trust that these drugs directly contact the stomach wall. The best way is to let them pass through the stomach safely in food packages.
Therefore, drugs with greater gastric irritation are more suitable for taking after meals.
Road maintenance vehicle
When there is a problem with the main road, we will also send vehicles to carry out maintenance. For example, stomach medicine, antidiarrheal medicine, anthelmintic medicine, etc.
Because they need to play a role in the gastrointestinal tract, we would prefer that the drugs can directly contact the affected part and not be buried in the food. It is worth noting that cholagogic drugs are also included, because bile secretion is also closely related to food digestion.
These drugs that act on gastrointestinal tract are best taken before meals.
Flexible and changeable
Some people may say, when the above three points conflict, how should we take them?
That needs to be analyzed according to the specific situation:
If you have stomach trouble for a long time, take more care of your stomach and take it after meals.
If the intestinal absorption function is relatively poor, then take more care of drugs and take them before meals.
Finally, in addition to the attention to take before and after meals, some drugs also require to take before going to bed, or take in the morning. This mainly involves some physical indications of the human body at different times of the day, such as blood pressure, hormone levels, etc. This needs to be specific to the medicine, can consult a doctor in detail.
Responsible Editor: Haitang