If you’ve ever reached for paracetamol to quickly ease pain, you might be surprised to learn that the effectiveness of this common painkiller could depend on your body position. A new study has revealed that the way we lie down when taking painkillers like paracetamol can significantly affect how quickly and effectively they work.
In the pioneering research published in the journal Physics of Fluids, the team used an advanced biomimetic simulator known as “StomSim” to delve into the complexities of how body posture impacts the absorption of medication. This innovative approach is the first to integrate gastric biomechanics with pill movement and drug dissolution, offering a comprehensive understanding of how an active pharmaceutical ingredient travels from the stomach to the duodenum.
The study’s results indicate that lying on the right side can facilitate quicker and more effective pain relief. In contrast, other positions, such as lying on the left side or standing, could delay the medication’s effectiveness. This discovery opens up new avenues for understanding drug administration and its practical applications.
The research team conducted a series of simulations using StomSim to recreate various postures and physiological conditions. By measuring the emptying rate and the release of a dissolved active pharmaceutical ingredient into the duodenum, they were able to pinpoint the ideal body position for pain relief.
Their findings suggest that when taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, lying on your right side can significantly enhance the drug’s efficacy. This posture allows for faster dissolution of the medication in the stomach, resulting in a more rapid onset of pain relief.
However, the study also highlighted that not all postures are created equal when it comes to drug absorption. Lying on the left side or standing can slow down the dissolution process, potentially delaying pain relief for those in need.
StomSim, short for “Stomach Simulator,” is a cutting-edge technology that has revolutionised the field of drug research. It replicates the biomechanics of the human stomach with remarkable accuracy, allowing researchers to simulate various conditions and scenarios.
The simulator’s ability to recreate different postures and gastric conditions played a pivotal role in this study. It enabled the researchers to calculate and compare the emptying rate and the release of a dissolved active pharmaceutical ingredient into the duodenum in a variety of physiological situations.
For individuals seeking prompt relief from pain or discomfort, the study’s findings hold practical implications. Understanding the role of body posture in drug absorption could lead to revised guidelines for taking oral medications, particularly painkillers.
This study not only sheds light on a relatively unexplored aspect of drug administration but also emphasises the need for more personalised approaches to medication intake. As research in this field continues to evolve, it could significantly impact how we take not just painkillers but a wide range of oral medications.