How does Medicine Work in your Body?

When you take your medication by mouth, it will be absorbed in the gut and then transported to the liver where the medicine is either broken down (deactivated) or converted (activated) by the liver cells. This process is called the ‘first pass effect or first pass metabolism’.  The rate at which your body metabolises the medications can influence the medicine’s efficacy and toxicity. 

If your body metabolises the medicine

  • too quickly, you may not get the expected benefit from the medicine 
  • too slowly, the medicine stays active longer in your body and you may get some side effects

Click to view TED-Ed video on How does your body process medicine?

Factors affecting Medicine Metabolism

The following factors can affect how the medicine will work in your body;

  • Poor health.  Liver or kidney disease (such as liver cirrhosis, kidney failure or being underweight will affect how the medicine will work for you
  • Drug interaction. Besides, Traditional Chinese Herbs, supplements and other medications you are taking, can have possible drug-drug interactions
  • Age. Young children and elder patients are more sensitive to side effects 
  • Pregnancy.  You must inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are pregnant because some medicines can affect the baby

Important Health Data to share with your Pharmacist or Doctor

As such, it is important for you to share information about your MEDICAL and MEDICINE history with your pharmacist and your doctor to help manage your health effectively and safely.  This information includes;

  • Past Medical and Surgical history
  • List of Medicines you are taking
  • Any known Allergies
  • Current weight and height
  • Current Blood Pressure or Glucose or Cholesterol measurements
  • Any relevant Previous Blood Test results to help monitor the health condition you are taking medication for (such as HbA1c, cholesterol, thyroid, uric acid)
Click to view BayerGlobal video on Benefits and Risks of Medical Drugs

Discuss the treatment regime with your doctor or pharmacist to use your medication safely. AVOID self-medication

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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