How to make medicine in Ramadan?

One of the issues that concern most patients with the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan is how to deal with their medications , especially if these medications need specific recurrence or they are usually taken before food or at a certain time of the day , and this is what confuses these patients about the extent of the impact Fasting on the effectiveness of these medications, so they search for alternative solutions for doctors and pharmacists to maintain the effectiveness of these medications on their fasting days, but sometimes, unfortunately, due to lack of health awareness, the patients change the frequency of medications and the dates of taking them without medical advice, which causes them to errors in taking medications.

The most prominent errors of taking medications during Ramadan

Recent studies and research reports indicated that there are many mistakes that patients usually make during their fasting days and should be avoided, we mention the most prominent of them:

Double doses

Some people take one double dose in Ramadan instead of two doses per day, such as taking them before Ramadan, or two double doses twice daily instead of three or four doses he was taking before Ramadan. This in itself is a big mistake because doubling the dose may have a toxic effect on the one hand , and on the other hand, each drug has a specific age that ends within a certain time even if the dose is doubled .

For example, if a drug with a dose of 500 mg is taken every 12 hours, that is, the life of the drug is 12 hours, even if we double the dose to 1000 mg for one time, the effect of the dose of the drug will end after 12 hours, and therefore we do not get coverage for the effect of the drug within the remaining 12 hours, in addition to Possibility of toxicity due to this double dose.

How to take medicines in Ramadan

Take medications after food

Some patients take certain medications before food during the days leading up to Ramadan and then they take them after food in Ramadan, and this may reduce their absorption and effectiveness, especially if the drug interferes with certain foods.

Take several medications together that may interact with each other at the same time

Some patients who take several medications distributed in periods before Ramadan collect these medications during the breakfast and suhoor periods, and some of these drugs may be incompatible with each other, or the side effects of them on the digestive system may increase due to this intake.

Reducing the time between doses, especially for drugs that may cause toxicity

Some medicines have a narrow margin of safety; that is, a slight increase in dose may have toxic effects on the body such as theophylline and its derivatives used as a bronchodilator,  so reducing the time between doses of these drugs increases their concentration in the blood, and thus increases the possibility of toxicity.

For example, the time-lapse of 12 hours between taking two doses of these medications before Ramadan becomes eight hours or less after Ramadan, given that the time for taking the two doses has become related to the time of breaking fast and suhoor only.

Scientifically correct ways to take medicines in Ramadan

Patients in general, especially those with chronic diseases who take medications continuously, should  consult a doctor to determine for them a system for taking medications and their doses during Ramadan, so that it does not affect their therapeutic effectiveness.

In general, however, the correct methods for taking medications can be summarized as follows:

  • One-time medications (every 24 hours) do not get any change, for example some high-pressure medications such as amlodipine .
  • Drugs taken twice a day (every 12 hours) is studying the possibility of giving the medicine when my meal suhoor breakfast is provided not cause toxicity, eg some antibiotics such as Sifadroksil and Sifaklor .
  • Medicines with a narrow safety margin such as bronchodilator theophylline , which leads to toxicity resulting from reduced time between the two doses, can be overcome by using a prolonged form of the drug with one dose per day or replacing the drug with another drug taken once per day such as salmeterol .
  • Medicines that are taken in more than two doses per day,  such as some antibiotics, such as clarithromycin , can be replaced by other medicines from the same group and have the same effectiveness taken once, such as  azithromycin or twice daily, such as clarithromycin .
  • Replacing the oral administration method for some medications that must be repeated with another administration method that does not lead to breakfast, for example analgesic tablets such as paracetamol that can be replaced by  suppositories or the injection form.
  • Medicines that are preferred to be taken before food, such as stomach acid drugs , can be taken half an hour before suhoor or two hours after iftar .
  • The distribution of medications in the breakfast and suhoor periods should be by the doctor for a patient taking several medications, such as pressure and heart medications, so that he takes into account the possible interactions between the medications .