Taking medicines away from food

taking medicines away from food

I’ve written about medicines that should be taken with food so this week it’s time for medicines that should be taken away from food.


Why some medicines should be taken away from food

To make sure the medicine is processed and absorbed properly. Calcium in dairy products stops the absorption of iron and some antibiotics.  Thyroxine, to treat hypothyroidism, should be taken away from food so that it is absorbed properly.

To make sure the medicine breaks down properly in the intestines and liver. Grapefruit juice has such an unpredictable effect with a lot of medicines that it should not be consumed unless you are sure it is safe with your medicines.

Because the “food” acts in a similar way to the medicine. This is like having an overdose.  This is why alcohol should not be consumed with medications that cause sedation and caffeine should not be used with stimulating medicines.



When it is stated to take a medicine on an empty stomach this generally means to take it one hour before food or two hours after



Take these medicines away from food

  • Beta blockers (heart medicine) eg atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol
  • H2 antagonists (for indigestion/reflux) eg ranitidine, famotidine, nizatidine. Take 30- 60 minutes before food.
  • Proton pump inhibitors (for indigestion/reflux) eg omeprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole, rabeprazole. Take 30-60 minutes before food.
  • Thyroxine (thyroid medicine) Take 30-60 minutes before breakfast.
  • Some antibiotics eg ciprofloxacin, roxithromycin
  • Claratyne




No I’m not talking about the Guns n Roses song, as good as it is!

What is patience?


The Oxford Dictionary meaning is:

The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.


Sounds easy doesn’t it?!

We all know it isn’t the case, so how can we learn to use it?


The answer isn’t that easy and if I could answer it succinctly I think I’d be rich.


You’ve undoubtedly read my recent article about back pain issues in my house and unfortunately they’ve flared up again. It is frustrating. Regular treatment is working. The prescribed exercises are being done. Training is being modified, everything is being done as instructed yet it isn’t back (pardon the pun) to where it should be.


Needless to say someone is feeling frustrated. With that comes annoyance, anxiety and even the feeling of inadequacy. When we can’t do what we are used to doing or what we want to do it is tough!


This happens so often with all of us whether it’s injury, illness or recovery from a medical procedure. Trust in the advice from your health professional. They know the best way to help you and that is why we do what we do.


My patient has almost lost his patience a few times but he understands that the process can take a while and he will get better.


Taking medicines with food

taking medicines with food

I have written previously about why some medicines should be taken with food and some should be taken without.  In this article I will give some examples of medicines that should be taken with food.


Why medicines should be taken with food

To recap, the main reasons why some medicines should be taken with food are

  • that the medicine is absorbed into your body better so that it works effectively
  • there is less chance of the medicine upsetting your stomach

See the post ‘Should I take my medicine with food or not?’ for more information


Take these medicines with food

The following medicines are best taken a few minutes before eating, while eating or a few minutes after eating.

  • ACE Inhibitors (used for blood pressure) eg ramipril, perindopril, enalapril, fosinopril, quinapril, trandolapril, lisinopril, captopril
  • Codeine and other opioids such as tramadol. Food reduces nausea with these.
  • Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, aspirin, diclofenac. Food reduces stomach irritation with these medicines.
  • All types are best taken with food to reduce nausea.
  • Diabetes medicines. Metformin (and combinations of metformin with other medicines), Amaryl and Byetta are best taken/used with food to minimise nausea.
  • Medicines with oestrogen eg HRT and oral contraceptives
  • Epilepsy medicines eg sodium valproate, gabapentin, phenytoin
  • Some antibiotics can irritate the stomach and even though they work better without food it is best to take them with food for this reason eg amoxycillin with clavulanate, doxycycline, erythromycin, metronidazole, cephalexin, cefaclor


There are many other medicines that are best taken with food but it’s impossible to list them all.  Ask you Pharmacist or consult the Consumer Medicine Information to see if your medicines should be taken with food or not.

Happy belated Mother’s Day

Mother's day

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all of the Mums out there reading and supporting me every week.

My day was good and I hope yours was also. It was a very busy end of the week for me. I was fortunate enough to sneak a little nap on the lounge in the afternoon.


It felt really good to have that rest. Until the guilt and panic set in when I woke;


I haven’t done all the washing,


I still need to clean the floors,


What are we having for dinner?


What are the kids having for lunch on Wednesday?


Who did I have to call back?


What post do I have to write for Monday?


We didn’t dust the bedrooms


Where did I put the school uniforms?


Have I ironed yet?




Then all of a sudden I said to myself “STOP”!




You’ve had a good day, you’ve had a rest. Why?


Because I’m tired, bordering on exhausted.


Did I waste time sleeping when I could have been doing those things?


My mothering mind said yes.


My clinical mind said “no”




My Healthful Wisdom mind said “you haven’t wasted time. You’ve done what you needed”


My point for this week is that we are all busy, sometimes we don’t feel like we stop and then we beat ourselves up for it. There’s no need to do that though. Sometimes it’s what you need. It’s called recovering and it’s not a bad thing.


And do you know what? We’ve managed to get to work and school I’ve washed and ironed clothes, we’ve eaten and the house has been cleaned. My panic and guilt wasn’t needed. Do yourself a favour occasionally and have the rest that your body tells you is required- it might save you from burning yourself out!



Magnesium has been my best friend over recent months.  It has helped with muscle pain and mood and has so many more benefits for the whole body!


Effects of low magnesium

Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle pain and spasm.  This can show as leg cramps, general body tenderness, migraines, insomnia, twitching, asthma and irregular heart beat.

Low magnesium has also been linked to PMS, mood swings, ADHD, anxiety and depression.


Magnesium has many benefits

Following on from the effects of low magnesium it makes sense that increasing magnesium can reduce or eliminate the above problems.

Magnesium has helped me with muscle cramps due to my increased exercise levels.  I also feel that it has helped me with improved mood also.

Magnesium is prescribed in those with the heart condition atrial fibrillation to prevent heart muscle spasms.  Magnesium may also help lung muscle spasm preventing symptoms of asthma.

It has been shown in studies that significant numbers of children diagnosed with ADHD had low magnesium levels and that symptoms improved when magnesium supplements were given.

Magnesium helps many parts of our body to relax.  It is so good that it can soak through our skin and into our bodies to ease muscle soreness when we add Epsom salts to a bath.


Increasing magnesium levels

Magnesium levels are low in many people due to the way food is processed and farmed.

Magnesium levels can be increased through diet though supplementation is often needed to bring levels up, especially if a medical condition is being treated.

Foods that contain magnesium include; spinach, chocolate(!), broccoli, brown rice, oats, legumes and tomatoes.

There are many kinds of magnesium supplements and the main difference is the molecule that is attached to the magnesium to allow it to be absorbed in the body.

If you see magnesium written as magnesium glycinate, amino acid chelate or aspartate these are good, well absorbed forms (and there are others).

Cheap magnesium supplements often contain magnesium oxide which is not very well absorbed and can cause diarrhea.

There are many good magnesium supplements that can be used for adults and children. It is important to consult your health practitioner before commencing a supplement to make sure that it is right for you and that you are taking the right dose.  Magnesium levels can increase too much in your body if you have liver or kidney problems or if you take thyroid medication or lithium.