Drug Taking Instructions and Expired Drug Disposal

Yes Chain Drug Store Ding Yifan Pharmacist
National Defense Medical Center, Pharmacology Master

Yes Chain Drug Store

Ding Yifan Pharmacist

As a pharmacist, I find myself answering some common questions posed by my patients from time to time. E.g. How to take drugs? If I miss the drug-taking time, can I take it later on to make up?

First of all, you have to understand some facts. When the drug flows into the stomach, it will be affected by the gastric acid. If there is food in the stomach, the drug effect will be further affected.

Generally, the following instructions are commonly seen on the drug package.

  • Take before meal (empty stomach)
    Taking before meal means taking the drug 1 hour before the meal starts. That’s when your stomach is empty, so the drug effect should not be compromised by the food.
  • Take with meal
    The effect of this kind of drug will not be affected by food in your stomach. In this case, you can either take the drug after eating or take it while eating your meal.
  • Take after meal
    This is the most common drug usage. If you are not sure whether to take the drug before meal or after meal, I suggest that you take it after meal. Specifically, half an hour or one hour after meal is the right time for you to take drug, thus avoiding the side effects caused to the stomach. If following these instructions, you still feel uncomfortable in your stomach, I suggest that you take it along with stomach medicine.

Now, let’s discuss the case in which if you forget to take drug as scheduled, how and when to take it. Well, my answer is that it depends on how much time has elapsed before you remember to take drug.

If it is cold medicine, it doesn’t matter if you skip once. However, if it is chronic drug, I suggest that you take it if not too much time has elapsed. But if it is time to take drug for the next time, you can never take twice the amount, otherwise severe side effects might be caused.

If you have to take many drugs at one time, remember to separate them according to the time of taking drugs, like before, with or after meal. Thus, when it is time to take drugs, you will not confuse them.

Remember to take drug at the right time to make sure the drug takes the best effect.


Expired Drug Disposal


In the past, we used to take the expired drugs to hospital or drug store for disposal. In recent years, as the garbage is incinerated, most of drug can be thrown into the trash can after proper disposal. Only a small part of drugs is required to be taken to the hospital for recycle.




Antibiotic, anti-cancer drug, hormone, controlled drugs and anaesthetic are required to be taken to the hospital or nearby drug store for disposal. Do not throw it into trash can directly, because this kind of drug causes severe pollution to the environment. Disposing on your own is not recommended.


Ordinary pill, lozenges, powder can be thrown into the trash can directly after being removed of the package and put into a small plastic bag.


The disposal of liquid medicine is kind of troublesome. Before you throw it into trash can, please pour the liquid drug into coffee grounds or some water-absorbing substance and then pack it with plastic bag. Please clean the drug bottle before recycling.


The needles are requested to be put into a can and mark the can with the word “needles”, and then take it to the hospital or reclamation vehicle for disposal.


As you can see, drug disposal is not that difficult. We are all obligated to protect the earth and our living environment starting from preventing the medicine from flowing into rivers or seeping into earth. Please remember to take drugs on time and avoid waste.


Scan Your Medication with eMeds, Sweep Away All Your Worries

Reminding and Recording Medication:

First, enter the eMeds system or eMeds App through website.
Write the drug information and usage into the lid of smart cap through cell phone or computer and then fill the bottle with drug.
If the drug name on cell phone is consistent with the medication information on the bottle, click the clock icon to automatically set the medication reminding according to the preset personal schedule.

Associated Person Reminds of Medication :

The associate person could be relatives, social worker, nurse and nursing workers in nursing home.
Set the relative person in the eMeds system and then connect it to the cell phone, or use the eMeds APP to produce the patient’s QR Code.
Scan the OR code to establish connection.
Social worker, nurse and nursing workers in nursing home could establish connection with more than one patients to care about the patients’ medication.

Monitor Ensures Medication to be Taken:

It is mandatory that patients of infectious disease (for epidemic prevention purpose), drug addicts and dementia patients be supervised for medication. The supervisor could be police officer in the neighborhood, nurse, social worker, relatives or precint head. Scanning the QR code of the patients with their own cell phones, they can start to supervise the medication of patients. When all drugs are taken by the patients, they click “I have completed medication supervision” which will be recorded in the eMeds system and cell phone of the patient.

Medication Record can be Inquired :

General patients of chronic disease will go through various examinations when they return to hospital for check-ups. The doctor will assess whether the patient’s condition has improved after a period of prescriped medication and adjust the prescription based on the medication record collected from eMeds system. Through eMeds system, the doctor can learn about every patient’s medication record so as to arrange examination and adjust prescription.

The operation procedure is easy. Apply to gain access to the medicaton record of the patient. Enter the eMeds system through patient’s cell phone or the website of eMeds. Put in the temporary password sent to the patient to check the patient’s medication record.

Alert PIM to Repeated Prescription:

Every patient might see doctor of more than two departments in one day. When the patient is prescripted the same medicine, the eMeds sysem will alert the pharmacist to the medicine name or the eMeds APP will alert to the same medicine name to prevent the patients from taking the same medicine.