It’s easy to forget to take your medications, even when you know how important it is to follow the instructions of your healthcare professionals.
Consistently remembering to take your medication at the right time and in the right dosage amount is extremely important to your overall health and wellness. It may sound like an easy task, but half of all patients don’t take their medications correctly. Between forgetting medication instructions, taking them at the wrong time or completely forgetting to take them all together, there’s many reasons why patients don’t follow their doctors’ orders.
Sometimes patients deliberately skip taking medication because they have negative side effects or they try to stretch out a medication for fear they can’t afford refills.
For most patients with health issues, one of the main things that physicians and healthcare providers can offer is medication. Through diagnostics and research, healthcare providers determine what kind of medications their patients need.
Patients can undermine their treatment programs if they receive their prescriptions but don’t adhere to them. By not taking prescription medications on time and at the proper dosage, patients can reduce their chances for recovery and increase the risk of an ailment becoming worse.
Especially for patients that take multiple medications, many have difficulty managing their medication therapies and staying organized. Some have a hard time maintaining their prescription regimen, remembering when to take them, and adhering to the program set forth by their doctors. Here are some simple solutions to help you better maintain your medication routine.
One of the reasons patients miss taking the proper dosages is because they forget to refill their prescriptions. Sometimes by the time they get around to doing it, they’re too late. Pharmacies like Medly can help by contacting you with reminders and handling refills. You can also set an alarm on your phone or mark it in your daily calendar with a reminder when you need refills. The reminder should be set on a date that appears before your current medication runs out.
This way you won’t suffer an interruption in your therapy. This is especially important if you’re using a mail-order pharmacy. You’ll have to consider the time it takes to have the medication shipped to you. Medly offers same day delivery to help patients make sure they get the medications they need on time. Enrolling in an auto-refill program can also help automate the refill process, particularly for the medications you take daily.
Some patients may miss taking their correct doses intentionally. They may believe that the medication is giving them negative side effects or making them sicker. In these instances, it’s critical for the patient to contact their pharmacist to ensure that their current medications aren’t negatively interacting with each other. Natural and herbal medications also have to be taken into consideration in such instances.
It’s also important to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and read the labels on any food you’re consuming that could interfere with the effects of your medications. To avoid any stomach distress or other side effects, make sure that if your medication specifies that it should be taken with food you adhere to those instructions.
People have an easier time remembering things they enjoy rather than things they dislike. This is a great way to associate taking your medication with getting a treat. It’s really easy to begin to develop a habit of enjoying a piece of chocolate or something else at a specific time each day. You can manage your craving for chocolate by using it as a trigger to get you to remember to take your medications or vitamins.
Investing in a small pillbox you can pick up at your local pharmacy is probably the easiest way to stay organized. Each compartment will hold whatever medication you need for that day, seven days a week. Fill it every Sunday night (or whatever day you prefer) so you’re ready for the upcoming week. The best part of using a pillbox is you can not only manage what you need to take each day, you can look at it and see what medication you’ve already taken or missed with just a glance.
Make a current medication list with any special instructions and proper dosage. To ensure that you’re not forgetting anything, review the list every week and fill up your pillbox. A current list can also be helpful if you’re currently looking for a new medication provider. A new healthcare provider will ask for a list of all current medications. Having an up-to-date list will ensure you’re providing your new physician with accurate data.
When it comes to taking your medication, sometimes out of sight is out of mind. Place your pillbox somewhere in your home where you will easily see it every day. Just make sure it’s away from children and pets. Building habits can be difficult at the beginning of any therapy so it’s important to keep your medication close to you during the first two weeks. Once you’re in the routine of taking your medication each day you can put the pillbox away.
But only do this once you’ve established your medication routine. Consider keeping your morning dose close to your coffee cup or next to your toothbrush in the bathroom. You can also try putting your evening dose on your nightstand next to your bed. Visual triggers will help you to remember and keep you on track.
There may be other ways to streamline your medication therapy routine. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a similar medication that only needs to be taken once instead of three times a day. If you must take several different medications, be careful about combining prescription medications with other supplements or antacids. This can lead to unwanted or potentially hazardous interactions.
Medly was designed to help patients access and adhere to their medication regime. From same-day delivery same-day delivery to starter kit for chronic conditions, Medly is here to support your medication needs. For more information feel free to reach out to a Medly associate. Visit our website, give us a call or download our app today.
Resources: Medication Adherence: Who Cares? Medication adherence influencing factors—an (updated) overview of systematic reviews Medication Adherence - Taking Your Meds as Directed Practical Ways to Improve Medication Adherence