I take my Zelnorm first thing in the morning and right before bedtime.......on an empty stomach both times. I do not eat with mine except an occassional piece of toast in the mornings. It works very well for me when I take it this way. I have talked to my Dr. about how long a person can be on Zelnorm,,,He has people who have been on it for 5 years and are doing fine. It works for me and hope I, too, can be on it long term!!