Some medications should be taken with food. Depending on the medication, there are different reasons for this:

  • The medication is absorbed into the body better if there is food in the stomach (e.g., calcium, nelfinavir, sertraline).
  • The medication can cause stomach upset, and food can help prevent this (e.g., dexamethasone, diclofenac, carbamazepine)
  • The medication is needed to help the body process the meal (e.g., pancreatic enzymes, lactase)

A number of other medications should also be taken with food. If you are not sure, check with your pharmacist. If your medication needs to be taken with food, take it with or just after a meal or a large snack. For some medications, it is enough to take it with a glass of milk. Check with your pharmacist for instructions specific to the medication you are taking.