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.