Medication to take before breakfast
Iron supplements: A glass of orange juice and an empty stomach provide the best conditions for iron pills. “Vitamin C enhances absorption,” says Akeel Jafar, a community pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto. “The acidic environment [the juice creates] helps the iron be fully absorbed.” If iron supplements on an empty stomach leave you feeling nauseous, take them with food. “Absorption of the iron will be reduced a little bit, but you’ll still be getting some benefit,” he says.
Iron can also negatively interact with other pills, impeding the absorption of calcium supplements, thyroid drugs, multivitamins and antibiotics. If you take medications in addition to iron supplements, Jafar suggests speaking to your pharmacist about staggering your pills through the day to ensure that you receive optimum benefit.
Blood pressure medication: Blood pressure is typically higher in the mornings. Take your prescription when you rise to stabilize your blood pressure for the day ahead.
Thyroid medications: Thyroid pills work best when taken on an empty stomach. If you’re on additional medications – even over-the-counter products such as multivitamins – Jafar recommends consulting with your pharmacist for tailored advice on how to spread out your meds for optimum absorption.
Acid reflux and heartburn medications: To get a jump on acid reflux and heartburn, Jafar suggests taking medicines for these conditions before eating. “They need some time before breakfast to click in and start working, so that your symptoms are relieved through the day,” he says.
Osteoporosis medications: “The vast majority of osteoporosis medicines are taken first thing in the morning on an empty-stomach, be it a weekly or monthly dose,” says Jafar. There is one osteoporosis medication that is still given as a daily dose at bedtime, but it’s not as frequently prescribed as the weekly or monthly morning pills.