Study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University suggests pills work fastest if taken while lying on the right side.
“We were very surprised that posture had such an immense effect on the dissolution rate of a pill,” says senior author Rajat Mittal, a Johns Hopkins engineer. “I never thought about whether I was doing it right or wrong but now I’ll definitely think about it every time I take a pill.”
When you are suffering, may it be pain or fever; you want the medicine to work as fast as possible. But when you take a medicine, they start working only when they are absorbed into the blood through the intestine.
However, to reach there the pill has to go through the stomach, through the twisting intestines, and then into the bloodstream
Prof. Mittal and his team tested different body postures for absorption of a pill in the shortest amount of time. So for that, they created a computer model of the human stomach, known as StomachSim. The model simulated what takes place inside the stomach as the pill is digested.
Researchers discovered that taking pills while leaning to the right side helped the drugs slip into the deepest part of the stomach. Therefore the pill ‘dissolved’ two times faster in comparison to the pill taken sitting upright.
However, leaning to the left side slowed the dissolution. They found it took almost five times more time to absorb pills in that position compared to an upright posture.
A right posture ensures that the pill lands nearer to the last part of the stomach, an area called the antrum. As a result, the stomach expels its contents into the intestine faster and would help in starting the dissolving process faster.
Mittal added, “For elderly, sedentary or bedridden people, whether they’re turning to the left or to the right can have a huge impact,”
The study was published in Physics of Fluids.