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What does it mean when a medication says "Take with food"?


Medication directions to "take with food" simply mean you should not take the medication on an empty stomach. It means you can take the medicine just before, right after, or while you are having a meal. Why? Certain medications can cause an upset stomach if not taken with food. Also, some medications are absorbed better when taken with food.

Common classes of medications that can cause an upset stomach if not taken with food include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), narcotic pain relievers, antibiotics, and birth control pills. You also can have a snack, such as a few crackers with medications that have food requirements.

If you have any questions on the proper way to take a particular medication, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

Find more information on how to take specific medications in our Drug Information section.

Use our Medication Manager chart to help you keep track as you take your medications.

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Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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