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Taking your medicine: what’s the best way to make sure the drugs work? | Health & wellbeing

Name: take your medicine.

Age: The use of medicinal herbs dates back to the Paleolithic era.

Appearance: Lying down.

I don’t take my meds lying down. Well, apparently you should.

Who says? A new study called Computational Modeling of Drug Dissolution in the Human Stomach: Effects of Posture and Gastroparesis on Drug Bioavailability.

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you lost me “computational””. The study, published in Physics of Fluids, suggests that when you take a tablet, it’s best to lie sideways on your right side.

Why should that matter? Basically, gravity – when you lie on your left side, the exit from the stomach to the duodenum is at the highest point. In that position, the rate at which a drug leaves your stomach and enters your bloodstream is significantly reduced.

What about getting up? That is gravity beneficial? It’s definitely better than lying on your left. A little standing and leaning back is even better. But they tested different poses on the StomachSim, and lying on your right side came out on top.

The Stomach Sim? A computer simulation of a human stomach based on MRI imaging. In this case, they used the model data from the stomach of a 34-year-old man known as “Duke”.

Can your attitude really make that much of a difference? In some cases, lying on the right side resulted in a doubling of the concentration of the released active substance.

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Does this apply to all the different types of pills people might take? Ask for a friend It’s complicated. Some pills are designed to release their active ingredient slowly, others quickly, so dissolving quickly isn’t always a good thing.

I think my friend was hoping for a less complicated answer. Many other factors are also involved, including stomach contents, gastric motility, and gastric fluid dynamics. “In particular,” the study says, “gastric contractions cause pressure and shear forces that generate complex pill trajectories.”

How about a spoonful of sugar? Won’t that help bring the drug down? They haven’t tested that on the StomachSim, but some research suggests that giving babies sucrose reduces the discomfort of injections by decreasing their pain response.

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In that case, I think I could eat a lot of sugar while lying down too. I’m not sure how that would help your stomach’s dynamic physiological environment.

Who cares? I’m just planning the rest of my summer. Okay, have fun then.

Do say: “Oral administration continues to be a safe, economical and convenient way to deliver drugs, and lying on your right side can significantly enhance absorption.”

do not say: “I don’t think I can dance like that.”

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