Unless you're a bouncer named Dalton, you've probably taken your fair share of pain meds, like Ibuprofen, over the years. And you know you're supposed to wait until you've eaten food before you can take them. But is there really a reason you have to do that?
The Australian Medicines Handbook recently changed its advice on taking such painkillers, saying it's OK to take them with just a glass of water, according to a report by AJP, an Australian pharmacy news site. Specifically, the handbook states, "Take oral doses with a glass of water. It may be taken without food but if this upsets your stomach, try taking it with a meal." In the US, the FDA recommends taking them "with food or milk if stomach upset occurs."
As Ian Musgrave, a Senior lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Adelaide, explains on Gizmodo, people think this is a big deal because previously, some doctors recommended only taking the drugs after a meal in order to protect your stomach. Painkillers are among drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which after chronic use can actually damage your stomach lining and even lead to ulcers and gastritis.