If you take any kind of daily medication, it can be easy to forget to take your pills if you’re out partying or getting high at a chillout.
You may have gone for ‘a couple of drinks’ and ended up far from home and out for far longer than you thought. So even if you do think about your pills, it might not be easy to get access to them if you left them at home.
Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs
Skipping pills for depression or anxiety can make you feel dreadful – especially as your recreational drugs start to wear off.
Take your meds as soon as you remember. Don’t double your dose to make up for lost time.
Recreational drugs can stop your antidepressants from working properly, and mixing some antidepressants with drugs like MDMA or cocaine can cause a dangerous reaction known as serotonin syndrome. Mixing the antidepressant citalopram and cocaine could put you at risk of bleeding and haemorrhage.
If you’re HIV positive and on meds, you’ll already know that you need to take them at the same time every day to keep the virus suppressed and stay healthy.
Missing meds can mean that the amount of virus in your body increases and it could become resistant to your medication – which means that it may not work anymore.
Missing a dose
If you miss HIV meds, follow instructions from your pharmacist or doctor on when to take the next dose.
As a general rule, if you realise you have missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
But if you only realise when you’re going to take your next dose, don’t take a double dose. If you’re not sure what to do, you could ring your HIV clinic to ask.
You don’t usually need to take another dose of your HIV treatment if you vomit (are sick) after taking it, unless it was immediately after swallowing the meds or you see the remains of the pills in the vomit.
If it’s more than an hour after taking your treatment (or more than four hours if you’re on Eviplera or rilpivirine), the drugs will already have been absorbed into your body.
Tips for remembering medication
- Set an alarm on your phone each day for when you’re due to take your meds.
- Plan your night out and, equally importantly, plan when it will end. If you go out without a plan, you’re more likely to stay out all weekend.
- If you’re planning on being out all weekend, take two days’ worth of pills with you. Wrap them up in cling film so you don’t lose them.
- If you’re often out with the same friends in a different city or area of town, consider keeping an emergency supply with them.
- If you need to take your pills with food and you’re not in the mood to eat, grab a quick snack like a protein bar, yoghurt or banana. Even better, keep a protein bar in your coat or bag.
Next review: 31/08/2021