MEDICATION

  1. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I MISS A DOSE OF MY MEDICATION?

In order to achieve the intended effect, medicines should be taken within recommended time periods. However, you may sometimes miss your dose of medication, probably due to poor planning or a busy schedule. When this happens, do not panic! Just follow these simple yet helpful tips.

  • Check the patient information leaflet, usually provided inside the pack or box with the medicine. This leaflet will contain information on missed or forgotten doses in the ‘How to take’ This will guide you on what to do.
  • General advice
  1. If the dose is less than 2 hours late: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. This applies to most of the medicines taken once, twice or thrice daily
  2. If the dose is more than 2 hours late and taken once or twice each day: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember as long as the next dose is not within a few hours. Then continue taking the medicine at the usual time
  3. If the dose is more than 2 hours late and the drug is taken more than twice a day: Skip the missed dose and wait until the next dose, and then continue taking the medicine at the usual time.
  • Never take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose. This may expose you to severe side effects.
  • Always consult with your care pharmacist or doctor in those moments where you feel unsure.

 

  1. ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC FOOD OR DRUG INTERACTIONS WITH HERBAL MEDICINES?

Do not assume natural means safe. Herbals and supplements have potential to cause serious side effects especially if taken concurrently with some drugs and foods. The interaction may affect the absorption, metabolism or excretion of the drug in the body.

Take for instance Ginkgo biloba, a common supplement utilized for its benefits in improving blood circulation in the brain when taken in combination with warfarin or aspirin or vitamin E. The combination increases potential for internal bleeding or stroke. It is therefore critical that care is taken before taking or adding any supplement to your treatment regimen.

Follow these tips to avoid such interactions

  • Whenever you visit your health care provider, bring the list of supplements you are taking. This will help them advice on any specific interactions with other drugs you are taking.
  • If you’re thinking of adding a dietary supplement to your daily routine, call your health care professional first, and let them know what other supplements and medications you’re taking.

 

  • Inform your health care provider if your health state has changed, particularly if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a recent illness.


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