Best Time To Take Medicines – Everything You Need to Know


To achieve the optimal effect from your medicine, it’s important to take it at the recommended intervals as seen on the drug label. Some medications are better to take with food as they may cause irritation if taken on an empty stomach. On the other hand, some medications can act better when taken on an empty stomach since their absorption is more rapid.

Let me help you with the big questions – which over-the-counter medicines you should take before a meal? and which are best to take after eating?

Which Medicines you should Take on an Empty Stomach?

Drugs like acetaminophen are best taken before a meal, or on an empty stomach. This helps it act more rapidly. Plus, it doesn’t cause gastric irritation and stomach pain, unlike other pain relievers. 

Medications for heartburn that are used to reduce gastric acidity are best taken without food. This is because they can act better to reduce acidity when the stomach is empty.

When a label says to take a medicine on an empty stomach, then it’s best to take it an hour or two before eating, or two to three hours after a meal.

Which Medicines you should Take After a Meal?

Ibuprofen (read about the risk of ibuprofen), aspirin, and naproxen are pain relievers that should be taken with food, preferably immediately after a meal. This is because they can inhibit the protection of the stomach lining, resulting in gastric irritation. In some cases, even just a piece of a bread or a cookie will be enough to prevent stomach irritation.

Other Tips:

Make sure to read the instructions on the medicine label very carefully. Check out which active ingredients the product has, along with any warnings or possible harmful effects.

It’s important to read the drug facts label. This information will tell you whether to take your medicine with a meal or on an empty stomach. If the label doesn’t have this information, there’s a big chance that taking it with or without food won’t significantly affect how it works.

If you’re taking other medicines along with your over-the-counter medicine, it’s best to check with your doctor or pharmacist that these drugs are safe to take together.

Again, knowing the best time to take your medicines can help treat your symptoms more effectively!