Did you remember to take your blood pressure pill this morning? Well if you didn’t, you’re not the only person who has missed a dose or two of a prescribed medication. Maybe you’ve stopped taking that antibiotic because you were feeling better after a few days, or it upset your stomach.
Seven out of 10 Americans are prescribed at least one prescription medication. But how many of them actually take the medication that they are prescribed every day? One report showed that out of every 100 prescriptions written, only 48 to 66 are picked up from the pharmacy, 25 to 30 are taken properly, and only 15 to 20 are refilled as prescribed. Another study showed that 75% of patients were non-adherent to their medication regimen. Taking your medications is important to your health. Not taking medications as prescribed can lead to hospital admissions, recurrent infections, and unmanaged health conditions.
Even if you recognize the importance of taking your medications, it can be difficult to remember to take them all of the time. In this article, we discuss some strategies that may help you gain better control over taking your medications in order to get the full benefit to your health.
To be successful with managing your medications, you should develop a system that works for you. Many people have different strategies that they use for their medication regimen. One tool recommended by many healthcare providers is a pillbox organizer. This container has different compartments for each day of the week, and for different times of the day. It helps you take what you need when you need it. At Gatti Pharmacy, we package your medications pillbox-style for you. The free packaging service is convenient and saves you from the worry of forgetting to take a medication. It also features tear-off doses to take with you on the go.
If you are still having trouble remembering your medications, some people find it helpful to associate them with an activity in your daily routine. For example, some people take their medications when they wake up and brush their teeth every morning, or when setting the table for dinner. Storing the medication bottles in a place where you usually are at the time you need your medications can help, such as the nightstand or kitchen cupboard. If you want an extra reminder, some people set alarms or use an application on their phone. Other tools include special medication bottle caps that have a digital timer or clock that can be set to when it is time to take your pill.
Another thing that you can consider doing is asking your pharmacy to synchronize your medication refills. This cuts down on the trips to the pharmacy and lowers the chances of running out or forgetting to refill your medication.
If you are unsure of how to take your medications, or what you are taking them for, just ask! Your pharmacist or doctor can answer any questions you may have to help you develop a routine that you can stick to. Some pharmacies offer services that can help you do this.
Medications don’t work if you don’t take them, so get some help managing them today.
[Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash]
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The Gatti Team
Information, tips and more from the Gatti Pharmacists and staff.