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.


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