How much medicine should I take?

The desired efficacy cannot be achieved with the medicine without a sufficiently high dose; on the other hand, doses that are too high may cause adverse reactions, even poisoning. The doses of prescription medicines are always individual. The instructions for use found in the packages of the over-the-counter medicines indicate how much of the medicine you can take at one time and what the maximum daily dose is. For children, precise doses have been determined based on their age and possibly also their weight.

  • A dose that is too low does not achieve the desired efficacy, while a dose that is too high can cause adverse reactions
  • The doctor writes the instructions for the use of a prescription medicine individually
  • The instructions for the use of an over-the-counter medicine available from pharmacies without a prescription can be found in the package
  • Children's dose is determined by age and, possibly, weight

A single dose means the amount of medicine you take at one time. When taking medicine, take the dose specified in the doctor's instructions or the single dose marked on the package of an over-the-counter medicine. A single dose of a medicine may sometimes also vary. If necessary, you can take one or several doses of a quick-relief asthma medicine according to your symptoms, for example – however, you must keep the maximum daily dose in mind. For courses of antibiotics, a single dose may be two tablets on the first day and one tablet per day after that.

The number of times you take medicine each day varies by medicine. The effect of some medicines lasts the entire day, making one dose per day enough. With other medicines, it is essential that the medicine is taken several times per day so that you can ensure that the effect of the medicine remains level throughout the entire day. In the case of certain antibiotics, for example, up to 3 or 4 single doses are taken every day. The single dose and the number of times per day together indicate the medicine's daily dose, or how much of the medicine you either must or can at the most take per day.

Example:

1–2 tablets 3–4 times per day.

You can find this kind of instruction on a painkiller, for example. At first, you can try the medicine in single doses of one tablet. If the pain is alleviated, the single dose is sufficient. According to the instruction, you can also increase the single dose to two tablets if your symptoms are not alleviated by just one tablet. You take the single dose, or one or two tablets, three times per day if the pain does not go away. If necessary, you can also take the medicine four times per day. In this case, the maximum number of tablets you can take per day is eight tablets, however, not taken all at once.