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Timing of taking ART medications

Nov 18, 2017

Hi, My wife & child are on ART medications & she freaks out if she takes it more than 15 minutes outside the scheduled time. Please tell her to relax & that it's OK to take them up to 2 hours either side of scheduled time without harming it's effectiveness. Frustrated Husband .....Thanks

Response from Dr. Young

Hello Frustrated and thanks for posting.

You're right. It's ok for your wife and child to relax.

While it's a good thing to aim to take one's medications at the same time each day, this is mostly for purposes of not missing doses altogether, rather than any intrinsic pharmacologic need. Today's HIV medications work well enough to discard the stop watch (or minute hand) when it comes to dosing.

I suggest to my patients to try to get their medications taken within 1/4 to 1/2 of the dosing interval- that means within a 6-12 hour period for once daily meds, or 3-6 hours for twice daily meds. If the pill(s) are taken within this time window, I don't consider the dose late, and definitely not to freak out.

I hope that's helpful to you and your family. BY



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