Want this pill to work fast? Your Body Position Matters – Consumer Health News

WEDNESDAY, August 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — If you have to take a pill, you might want to take it lying down — on your right side, that is.

Researchers studying how body positioning affects pill absorption have found that taking a person while lying on their right side accelerates the pills to the deepest part of the stomach. This pill could then dissolve 2.3 times faster than if the person were standing.

“We were very surprised that posture had such an immense effect on a pill’s dissolution rate,” said lead author Rajat Mittal, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and an expert in fluid dynamics. “I never wondered if I was doing it right or wrong, but now I will definitely think about it every time I take a pill.”

For the study, the researchers used a model called StomachSim, which uses physics, biomechanics and fluid mechanics to mimic what happens in the gut as it digests food or medication.

Researchers knew that most pills only start working when the stomach ejects its contents into the intestine. This would mean that a pill landing in the last part of the stomach, an area called the antrum, would start to dissolve faster. It would also start emptying its contents faster through the pylorus into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.

To put a pill there would require a posture that uses both gravity and the natural asymmetry of the stomach to its advantage.

In addition to the right side, the team tested taking pills on the left side, standing and lying on your back.

Surprisingly, a pill that dissolves in 10 minutes with a patient lying on their right side could take 23 minutes to dissolve in an upright position and over 100 minutes with the person on their left side. Lying straight back tied with standing in terms of dissolving the pill.

“For the elderly, sedentary or bedridden, whether they turn left or right can have a huge impact,” Mittal said in a Hopkins press release.

Lead author Jae Ho “Mike” Lee, a former postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins, noted that even small changes in stomach conditions could significantly affect dissolution – when a person’s gut doesn’t work. not at best due to conditions such as diabetes and Parkinson’s syndrome, for example.

The impacts of posture and stomach disease were similar on drug dissolution.

“Posture itself has such a huge impact…it’s like someone’s stomach has a really big malfunction when it comes to dissolving the pill,” Mittal said.

Plans for future work include an attempt to predict how changes in the biomechanics of the stomach affect how the body absorbs drugs.

The results were recently published in the journal Fluid physics.

More information

The US National Institute on Aging says more about the safe use of medications for older adults.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University, press release, August 15, 2022

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