A new problem for both patients and medical providers has recently been legitimized – ‘pill burden’. Many patients are taking their medication with no benefits. Were they ever instructed on when to take the prescription medication? I want to discuss this as many of us take more than a few pills a day, especially given all the supplements that are touted to be beneficial That is when the specifics of how, when and with what are they been taken should be discussed. Some medical providers do not ask, they just increase the dose or change the prescription. Was medication worthless?

Everyone knows – wither it is followed or not- to drink 8 oz. of water with all pills. However, does it matter that you take 5 or more pills at once? Which can be taken all at once?

We all tend to make our lives simpler, but should timing and consolidating medications be part of that effort? Certain medication should be given at specific times and meals may play a role in absorption.

It does matter which pills are swallowed at once.  You know it does, just like what time of day medication is taken matters! Thyroid medication, for example, should be taken before breakfast. Even for some supplements timing matters for optimal benefit – red yeast rice, for example, should be take in evenings with a meal.

Do not presume that because you listed all your medications and supplements that your doctor is going to take the initiative to discuss timing and combinations. Drug interactions can also be checked online at sites such as drugs.com and others. But you also need to ask the doctor how many can be taken at a time.

Again you are in charge of your health – ASK!