As nurses, at some point you may have provided discharge instructions or outpatient instructions to a patient that “this medication must be taken with food.” However, does the instruction just stop there? What else is instructed to patients when a medication must be taken with food? Take with a snack or take after dinner? What does this look like for your patient?
Some patients may not have the means to meet this requirement or even the appetite. Are examples provided? Some nurses may not be aware that for some medications the exact caloric requirement may make a difference in whether or not the medication works.
In my clinical practice of psychiatric nursing, there are two antipsychotic medications in particular that require a certain amount of calories in order to be effective. Lurasidone requires 350 calories. Another is Ziprasidone, which for any calories less than 500 results in variable symptoms. In other words, at 500 calories, absorption is increased up to two-fold in the presence of food, which results in less variable responses in patient symptoms. Standard guidelines when prescribing medications to patients can include increasing the dose if the desired effect is not achieved. However, with medications such as . . .