Guide: Taking bitter medicine

Not only bitter medicine works

The bitter taste of some medicines makes them effective. Unfortunately, unpleasant taste makes us little desire to take a medicine. Some patients therefore do not take their medicine regularly and thus delay healing. There are often simple tricks to deal with the bitter medicine more easily.

But there is also medicine that tastes good or has no taste at all. If you have trouble taking your medicine, ask your doctor about another medicine or a better way to take it. Instead of tablets, there are often juices that are easier to swallow. Or, for certain ailments, try an ointment that transports the active ingredient through the skin directly to where it is needed.

Why good medicine often tastes bad

There are many reasons why medicine tastes bad. The most common reason is that the active ingredient is identified by our tongue as bitter. This happens especially when a substance is rarely found in our food and we should therefore be warned about it. Medicines – like many other bitter substances – must not be overdosed, otherwise they are toxic to us. Nature has therefore endowed us with a fine sense of taste. We detect even small concentrations of toxic substances in the mouth before we swallow them.

Medicine doesn’t have to taste good. It should not be like sweets. If a drug tastes good, then the patient may not take it because he or she thinks it doesn’t work as well. However, if it tastes too good, you might take too much of it. For this reason, some manufacturers of drugs deliberately create a bitter taste, although it could easily be prevented by a coating (for example, an enteric-coated film).

In addition, if medicine does not taste good, children are not tempted to swallow it in large quantities. Imagine a person with a heart condition stores his daily tablets in the kitchen. If there are children in the household at the same time, there is a risk that they will confuse the colorful pills with sweets and take a dangerous overdose. Therefore, such pills should never taste good, but be neutral or bitter.

What makes good medicine good?

Many people would say that taste doesn’t matter. It is important that the drug works. But is this true? Some people may say that it depends on the right medication. But what if the right drug for a person’s diagnosis and needs is not yet on the market, or it severely affects the quality of life itself?

Finding the right drug for the right diagnosis and needs is more important than the taste of the drug. However, if the active ingredient that fits the disease is found, then it depends on the acceptance (physicians speak here of compliance). Only an accepted therapy is consistently followed and can thus lead to healing.

For a good therapy, in addition to good medicine, it is also important that the patient adheres precisely to the doctor’s instructions. And here, of course, it helps a lot if the intake is not a burden. In addition to the taste, the duration and frequency are also decisive. Ultimately, circumstances are also important. If you are to take your medication before or after meals, this requires some planning. If aids, water or even a refrigerator are needed, then it is even more difficult to carry out the therapy consistently.

If you as a patient notice that you find it difficult to follow the doctor’s instructions, then you should urgently find a solution with the doctor. Otherwise, the success of the treatment is endangered.

Conclusion (and last tips) on bitter medicine

When it comes to taking medication, this is not always easy. The taste, texture, and time it takes can lead many people to avoid taking their medication altogether.

The first thing you should do is read the package leaflet of your medicine. She will explain to you what kind of liquid you can mix your medication with and how much fluid you need to take for it to work. You should also check if side effects may occur if you mix your medication with other liquids, medications, or foods.

You can also try rinsing your mouth with fruit juice or water before swallowing the pill. This will help get rid of unpleasant tastes or odors before they kill your taste buds or aromas. Reach your nose.

If you have difficulty swallowing, or the taste and pill size make taking it an ordeal, there may be other dosage forms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist.

We wish you a speedy recovery!

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