Oral administration is the most common way of taking medications. Depending on the medication type, you can either chew it, swallow it, or place it under the tongue to dissolve. Regardless of the nature of the medication, it’s important that you take the dose on time using pill reminder app. Early or late administrations may result in serious side effects.
Meds that you swallow travel from your digestive system into bloodstream where they are conveyed to the rest of the body. The time it takes for the distribution depends on several factors:
- The kind of medication you take (pill or liquid)
- Whether you took it before food, after food or with an empty stomach
- The ability of medication to dissolve into bloodstream
- How it reacts with your stomach acids
- If you are taking other medications, how it reacts with them
If you want a quick effect, your doctor may recommend a drug that will dissolve in your mouth and quickly enter your bloodstream.
Tablets & Capsules
Generally, pills and capsules should be taken with water. Taking them with something else can have severe effects on health. For example, Lipitor and Viagra with grapefruit juice can cause serious side effects. Similarly, taking certain pills with milk can obstruct the absorption of some antibiotics. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is a great example of that.
Your specialist will tell you whether you should take prescription on an empty stomach or a full stomach. Knowing this is important because the food in your stomach can interfere with your medicine and pass into your bloodstream. Therefore, it’s necessary to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. And always take your specialist’s advice if there are doubts over something.
Moreover, don’t break, crush, or chew any pill/capsule before swallowing. Numerous drugs are long-acting and are intended to be swallowed as a whole. If you are unsure about how to consume your medication, ask your specialist.
Also, if you experience difficulty swallowing the medicine, explain it to your doctor. He will probably switch it with a liquid prescription or a pill that is easier to swallow.
The liquid medications are easier to take both for kids and adults. Many liquid meds, including prescription and over-the-counter, are made for kids and flavored to mask their bitter taste.
Before taking these medications using a pill tracker app, make sure to shake the container as a portion of the drug may have “settled” at the base.
Often the doctors will tell you to measure the medication using a teaspoon (remember that teaspoons are smaller than tablespoons). To a specialist, a teaspoon implies 5 ml (milliliters) of medicine. However, many household teaspoons differ in sizes and you may end up consuming slightly higher or lower dosage.
Always measure your liquid medicine carefully! If you don’t have the standard teaspoon, you can get one from your physician. However, teaspoon is not the only way to take medications. A dropper or a syringe can serve the same purpose with equal efficiency.
If you are unaware of these methods, your doctor should be able to teach them to you.
There are many over-the-counter drugs that come with a small container. You can use it for medicine administration as well.
If the prescription is for a newborn or young child, learn about the correct measurement from your doctor.
Sublingual prescriptions are placed under the tongue or between the teeth and the cheek (buccal). These meds dissolve rapidly into the bloodstream and their purpose is to relieve symptoms immediately.
Some examples include:
- Nitroglycerin medications used in the treatment of angina
- Suboxone medications for the treatment of heroin addiction
Types of Oral Medications
Though most oral prescriptions are swallowed, some are meant to be chewed or placed on the tongue to dissolve. The majority of oral prescriptions is OTC. Some common types of these medications include:
These tablets should be chewed to the point they are completely crushed. They should not be swallowed. Tylenol Chewable and many children’s vitamins are examples of such medications.
They are also a type of chewing meds. They take around 30 minutes and should be chewed in the minimum time for a full effect. Nicorette Gum and Aspergum are a few examples of these medications.
Some medications should be “sucked” on like sweet candies until they dissolve in your mouth. These medications are also not meant for swallowing. Commit (nicotine) and Cepacol are some common examples.
Soft Chew Prescriptions
These are intended to dissolve in your mouth or to be chewed. Triaminic Soft Chew Cold and Allergy Medication with chlorpheniramine & pseudoephedrine are common examples of these medications.
Dosage and Timing
For all meds, you should only take dosages recommended by the specialist. This is because doctors carefully determine the dosage based on your age, weight, and other health conditions.
Some meds, however, need experimentation for figuring out the right amount of dosage. For such meds, your physician would need to screen you before starting the treatment. For example, if your specialist recommends blood thinners, you will need to undergo a few blood tests over time to determine if the dosage is higher or lower than the requirement. The results from these tests would enable your doctor to modify the dosage until the point when they find the right measurement for you.
Lastly, many medications need to reach a certain level in your circulatory system. They should be given at specific times of the day using a medication reminder app. Taking them too early could prompt levels that are excessively high, and missing/delaying the dosage could lower the required level of medication in your body, which may prevent it from working appropriately.