When Should You Take Your Medicine?

Knowing when to take your medicine is very important. Most people think they know when to take their medicine, but it is not always clear from the label

What could happen if you take your medicine at the wrong time of day?

  • It can be dangerous.
  • Your medicine may not work as well.
  • It can upset your stomach.
  • It can keep you awake or make you drowsy.
  • It can cause other side effects. 

Look at the label below.

It reads: "Take 2 capsules 3 times daily for 7 days" 

So, when should you take this medicine? 

  • Morning, afternoon, and night? OR
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? OR
  • Every 8 hours?

It is not clear from this label. Keep in mind that:  

  1. Some medicines should be taken with food. Other medicines should be taken on an empty stomach.
  2. Some medicines may make you drowsy and should be taken at night. Other medicines can keep you awake. 

Since the label doesn't usually tell you when you should take it, you should ask your pharmacist or doctor! If not, the medicine may not work as well or it may cause other side effects. 


This next medicine label was prescribed for pain.

It reads "Take 1 or 2 tablets as needed for pain"

You know you need to take this medicine for pain. But how soon after you take those tablets could you take more? 

If the label doesn't tell you, you should ask your pharmacist or doctor!


Watch this video for more information on when to take your medicine: