There are many conditions that require medication, and some individuals rely on multiple medications on a daily basis. While advances in medication have allowed for great strides in treating and managing a range of illnesses, getting the right medications, at the right dosage, and at the right time can become tricky. If you are taking medication, you want to ensure you are managing your medications properly. According to the CDC, almost 50 percent of Americans use at least one prescription drug, and over 20 percent of people use three or more prescription drugs—this is a lot of medication to manage! Read on for some tips to effectively manage your medications.
This may seem obvious, but you need to follow the instructions associated with whatever medications you take. Especially if you take many medications, or have taken a medication for a long period of time, you may think you don’t need to read the enclosed paperwork, or look at any of the side effects. Every time you get a medication you should review the instructions to ensure you are taking the right amount at the right time.
Make sure you take the time to ask your physician or pharmacist questions. You may think you know all of the answers, but checking in with your primary caregiver regarding any questions you have is really important. If you have had a small reaction to medication, are confused about the best times to take your medications, or have any other questions—ask! Only good can come from asking a lot of questions.
Make a List of Your Medications
A list of your current medications is invaluable. Your running list of medications can be continually added to and revised, having a convenient and quick view of what you are taking. At your annual exam or any other physician visits, you will be prepared with every pill you are taking. This helps your health care provider have a complete picture of your health to be able to make better recommendations. A list is also crucial if family members or loved ones ever need to step in with assistance—they have an easily accessible view of all of your medications.
Be Aware of Expiration Dates
Medications have expiration dates for a reason, and if yours are expired it is time to call your doctor for a refill. Many times expired medication was used to treat conditions long ago, and might not be the current best choice. If you have expired medication, check with your healthcare provider before taking it.
You need to develop a system of organization that can help you know exactly what medication to take, at what time, and at what dosage. This can be really confusing if you are taking multiple medications, and it is easy to forget which pills you have taken on a specific day. Weekly pill organizers can help, or a system that delivers prepackaged medication to your doorstep like AccuPac. Whatever you find keeps you on track with your medication, use it!
Medication is an important part of many people’s lives, and it should be handled carefully and thoughtfully. Having a trusted healthcare clinic is crucial in your medication management and planning, and American Health Specialist in Flint would love to help you with any medical issues you may have. If you have been having side effects from medications you are taking, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us!