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how to use oral medications

The most common way people take medications is orally (by mouth). Depending on what your physician prescribed, your oral medication can be swallowed, chewed or placed under your tongue to dissolve.

Medications that you swallow travel from your stomach or intestine into your bloodstream and then are carried to all parts of your body. This process is known as absorption.

The speed with which absorption occurs depends on several factors:

The type of medication you are taking (e.g., liquid or tablet)
Whether you take your medication with food, after food or on an empty stomach
The ability of your medication to pass into your bloodstream – some medications have a special coating and dissolve slowly in your stomach

How your medication reacts with the acid conditions in your stomach
Whether your medication interacts with other medications you are taking at the same time
If a quick effect is desired, your physician may prescribe a medication that will dissolve in your mouth and rapidly enter your bloodstream.