How to take a pill?

How to take medicines correctly?

It would seem, what’s the difference than taking the medicine, the main thing is to swallow it. However, not all liquids are suitable for use with tablets. It is impossible to thoughtlessly wash down the medicine with the first thing that comes to hand, because, instead of a therapeutic effect, you can get a completely opposite result.  

The fact is that the chemicals in drugs can react with drinks and food. As a result, completely different chemical compounds are formed, which can cause harm to health and even lead to death. Therefore, before you start taking a particular drug, you should find out exactly how to do it, and including what to drink it with.

What can not be taken with pills

1. Coffee and tea alter the properties of medicines 

Refrain from drinking tea tablets as the tannin in tea: 

  • neutralizes the effect of oral contraceptives (like the infusion of St. John’s wort);  
  • forms insoluble compounds with certain substances (for example, drugs with a high iron content simply precipitate);  
  • together with antidepressants can lead to nervous overexcitation and insomnia;  
  • slows down the absorption of drugs.

You can not drink tea 

  • drugs used in neurology, psychiatry (AMINAZINE and some antipsychotics);
  • cardiovascular drugs;
  • means that activate the digestion process,
  • drugs for the treatment of stomach ulcers;
  • antibiotics;

You should not take coffee medications , as the effect of coffee can be unpredictable. In some cases, it inhibits the effect of drugs, while in others, on the contrary, it enhances (especially in the case of taking painkillers). 

The combination of pain relievers such as CITRAMONE, CITRAPAR, PARACETAMOL, ASPIRINE, and large amounts of coffee can increase their cardio , nephrotoxicity and hepatotoxicity and lead to irreversible damage to the liver, kidneys and heart.

Coffee very quickly removes antibiotics from the body : so quickly that they do not have time to benefit. 

It is undesirable to take coffee in conjunction with such medications as:

  • sedatives and hypnotics;
  • anti-inflammatory and analgesic (PARACETAMOL, ASPIRIN, etc.);
  • antibiotics of the penicillin series and ERYTHROMYCIN.

2. Juices can cause drug poisoning

Juices and compotes containing fruit acids destroy the structure of drugs and change their pharmacological composition.

Do not drink juices:

  • antacids (drugs to reduce the acidity of gastric juice), which are alkaline by their chemical nature and bind to the acids in juices;
  • cardiac glycosides (DIGOXIN, etc.);
  • sulfonamides (STREPTOCID, SULFALEN, etc.);
  • drugs to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol;

acetylsalicylic acid (ASPIRIN)!

In addition, fruit juices:

  • slow down the action of antibiotics (ERYTHROMYCIN, AMPICILLIN); reduce the absorption of ampicibarbiturates and nitrofurans ;
  • inhibit the effect of AMIDOPIRIN, IBUPROFEN, FUROSEMIDE.

Grapefruit juice causes an overdose of heart medications and some other drugs, because the liver at this time is “busy” disassembling grapefruit ingredients “for parts”. 

In this regard, a lot of drugs require extreme caution:

  • antihistamines;
  • medicines for hypertension and heart disease (for example, antiarrhythmic drugs and to lower cholesterol);
  • antibiotics (ERYTHROMYCIN);
  • antitussive and antiviral;
  • hormonal drugs.

In addition, not all people are genetically able to digest grapefruit juice (like milk), so taking these foods with medications can cause them serious poisoning.

3. Milk reduces the effectiveness of many medicines.

Milk inhibits the action of antibiotics and gastric enzymes.

Antibiotics of the tetracycline series (TETRACYCLIN, OLEETETRIN, etc.) should not be combined with milk and dairy products , since the absorption of antibiotics is reduced in such cases by 20-80%.  

Calcium cations contained in milk and dairy products bind many substances, converting them into insoluble compounds that have no therapeutic effect. Milk “steals” ferric iron from preparations containing it. However, in case of an overdose of certain medications (for example, aloe syrup with iron), milk can serve as an antidote (antidote).

When taking antibiotics, fermented milk products must be present in the diet in order to restore the intestinal microflora damaged by antibiotics. But antibiotics should be taken separately from these foods. Calcium

caseinate also prevents the absorption of LINCOMYCIN HYDROCHLORIDE. Milk neutralizes the action of potassium and antacids (enzymes to improve digestion), reducing the acidity of gastric juice. Do not drink medicines with an acid-resistant membrane (PANCREATIN, BISACODIL) with milk, as the coating will prematurely dissolve and the drug will collapse without reaching the required absorption site in the intestine.    

4. Acidic foods and tonic drinks conflict with medications .

When prescribing antibiotics, you should be very careful about your diet. It should exclude “sour” foods: fruits, juices, soda, dry wine and any dishes prepared with the addition of vinegar. A lot of drugs, combined with tonic and carbonated drinks, are not absorbed by the body. The reason is that phosphoric acid is often present in these drinks (for example, in Coca-Cola) and other active chemical elements (ions of iron, calcium, etc.), which react with the active substances of the tablet.  

This primarily concerns:

  • antacids (to improve digestion);
  • diuretic DIAKARB (diuretic);
  • CALCIUM prepatates ;

5. Alcohol increases the side effects of drugs, up to and including death.

Taking any alcoholic beverages together with medications is strictly prohibited!

This rule also applies to the hangover syndrome : at this time, it is unacceptable to take conventional pain relievers to relieve headaches. In order to fight a hangover, you can take only drugs specially designed for this, which do not cause side effects (for example, succinic acid tablets). 

6. Many foods are not compatible with antidepressants .

Antidepressants are champions of food intractability. They do not tolerate alcohol (especially red wine), dairy products, cheeses (primarily with mold), beef, fish, sausages, etc. 

If you neglect the precautions during the treatment of depressive conditions, you can get a serious hypertensive crisis.

Taking hormonal contraceptives may turn out to be useless or ineffective if at the same time a harmless and quite popular ZEROBOYA infusion is taken as a sedative.  

According to British scientists, it is dangerous to consume avocado, ice cream, cranberry juice while taking VARFARIN (an anticoagulant for the treatment of varicose veins, which reduces blood clotting).


The only universal means for washing down pills was and remains water (not with ice, but at room temperature). 

When taking the medicine, you must adhere to the basic rule: if the doctor did not specify the features of taking the pills, it is best to drink them with clean water 

Wash down with water:

  • medicines in gelatin capsules (washed down with water only); 
  • antiulcer drugs (DE-NOL, GASTROPHARM, etc.); 
  • drugs of the group of tetracyclines and lincosamides (with plenty of drinking and better standing). 

To take a tablet or pill, ¼ glass is enough, and only in special cases (for example, while taking salicylates, antibiotics) a larger amount of liquid may be required – at least a glass.

Sulfonamides are taken strictly on an empty stomach with a full glass of water. During the course of treatment, an abundant alkaline drink is also necessary so as not to harm the kidneys and avoid urolithiasis . LIQUIDS FOR SPECIAL CASES 


There are a number of drugs that, to achieve the desired effect, should be taken not with water, but with a well-defined liquid.

It is recommended to drink milk with: 

  • drugs that irritate the gastric mucosa, but do not bind to proteins and calcium in milk;
  • anti-inflammatory and pain relievers (eg, INDOMETACIN, RESERPIN);
  • some hormonal drugs;
  • IODINE preparations;
  • anti-tuberculosis drugs ETHIONAMIDE and PROTHIONAMIDE.

Alkaline mineral waters are washed down with: 

  • ERYTHROMYCIN (Azithromycin, Macropen , Sumamed ).

It is preferable to take ASPIRIN in the form of effervescent tablets, having previously dissolved them in a glass of water. It is advisable to crush a regular tablet and drink it with milk or mineral water . One hour before taking ASPIRIN, you should not eat spicy foods and citrus fruits to avoid irritation of the gastric mucosa.   

Some slightly acidic preparations can be taken with tea 

  • pain relievers and sedatives (SULPHANILAMIDE, BRUFEN, INDOMETACIN);
  • anti-anaphylactic agents (CHLORTRIMETONE, PIRIBENZAMINE, etc.).

Sometimes drugs are washed down with jelly 

For example, ASPIRIN and other drugs containing acetylsalicylic acid are best taken after meals and washed down with something enveloping like jelly, oatmeal or rice broth to reduce the time that drugs of this type come into contact with the walls of the stomach and protect its mucous membrane.

When prescribing this or that drug, do not forget to ask your doctor how to take this medicine and how it is better to drink it. In addition, the necessary information about the correct administration of the drug and its compatibility with other drugs can be found in the instructions for use, or the annotation to the drug.

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