Pharmacist: Ma’am, take one capsule of this drug every 8 hours for 5 days
Patient: Isn’t that the same thing as three times a day
Pharmacist: Not really
Why 3 times a day is not the same as every 8 hours
You are probably familiar with your pharmacist telling you to take a medication every 8 hours or every 12 hours, depending on if the drug is to be taken twice or three times a day.
You might feel like why doesn’t the Pharmacist just say three times a day or twice a day here is why…
Patient A was told to take a drug 3 times a day, he took the first dose at 8.30am after breakfast, the next at 2.10pm and the last at 8.00pm in the night.
This is three times, isn’t it? but this is very far away from the actual time interval the drug needs to be taken for effectiveness.
This patient took the second dose 5 hours 40 mins after the first (nothing close to the 8 hours) and took the third 5 hours 50 mins after the second
Ideally the patient ought to have for example taken at 6.00am, 2.00pm and 10.00pm. This seemingly little disparity can have a huge impact on how the drug works.
Effects of dosage timing on treatment results
Drugs are formulated with very precise properties and the dose intervals are set in a particular way.
This is to ensure that as the blood levels of the first dose start falling below the level it can exert its effect on the body, the next dose is taken.
This is how most drugs work and taking at the exact dosage intervals is even more important for antibiotics and antifungals.
Not sticking to the correct time can allow the microbes to somehow escape the drug.
This leads to such infections not clearing completely and possibly coming back in the nearest future.
Patient A in our example takes the next dose before the correct time (like 5 hours 40 mins as against 8 hours.
This can lead to a greater than necessary amount of the drug in the system and that can mean more severe side effects.
The opposite effect occurs when the subsequent dose is taken late. The drug might fail to reach the required blood concentration to sustain the drugs effect.
If it’s an antibiotic it might fail to adequately deal with the microbes.
Adhere, a tech solution
Adhere totally prevents these potential problems by sending timely reminders at the exact time the medications should be taken.
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