Many of us take medicines as part of our daily lives. While some of us may be on medication for only a short period of days, some have to take it for months, a few years, or for the rest of their lives. Truly, medicines have significantly affected how our healthcare system works.
Medicines are useful for keeping and staying healthy, curing us of illnesses, and can help our immunity protect us from more illnesses. However, when taken incorrectly, medicines can make you feel worse and can result in devastating consequences. Hence, you must take them properly to increase their effectiveness.
Below are tips and suggestions to get the most of your prescribed medications.
Make Your Medicine a Part of Your Everyday Routine
To make the most out of your prescription medicines, you must take them at the same time every day. While most prescriptions come with a timeframe of when you should take your medicine, you must ensure that you won’t miss a single one or drink it hours after the prescribed time.
A specific medication can exhibit different effects based on the level of other medication in your bloodstream, which can help determine if a dose is too much for you or not. Moreover, keep the medicine containers within your reach, such as on the kitchen counter. However, make sure to keep the medicines out of children’s reach.
Know the Difference Between Generic and Branded Medicines
Medicines come in both brand names and generics. Generic medicines cost less and work just as well as brand name medicines. However, consult your doctor or pharmacist first for a generic form of your prescription drugs before opting to take it.
When looking for a generic counterpart of your medicine, compare the list of ingredients of the brand and generic drug. If the generic drug has the same content as the branded medicine, you may consider it.
However, take extra precaution as generic medicines may contain different amounts of specific ingredients, which can be harmful to you. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding any hesitations or questions about the medicine you’ll choose.
Ask Your Doctor Questions About Your Medicine
Don’t be afraid of asking your doctor about something that you don’t understand about the medicine you are taking. Make them explain things clearly or in a way that you can understand.
It is also essential that you regularly contact your doctor to assess both the medication’s effectiveness and if you might need additional medications. Some physicians prefer patients to take branded medications for a severe condition, while others believe generic brands are okay. It’s always best to talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of generic medication versus a branded drug.
What You Should Know About Your Medicines
To get the most of your prescription medicines and prevent terrible side effects, these are the things you should ask your doctor or pharmacist:
- Various treatment options for your condition
- Purpose of the medicine
- If the new prescription means you can stop taking other medicines
- How to tell if the medicine is working
- Who to talk to if further help is needed when taking prescription
- What to do if a dose is missed
- Duration of taking medication
- Where to get more medicine if it runs out
- Anything that should not be taken when on medication
- Benefits of certain medications
Get Organized and Make a List
According to the Department of Human Health and Human Services, most seniors fail to take their prescription drugs properly. Keeping track of prescriptions and drug interactions is even more challenging for those with memory problems.
To help manage medicine from breakfast to bedtime, try using large pillboxes with separate compartments every day. It’s also best if you create a list of the medicine you take. Label it with the medicine’s brand and generic names, including prescription, OTC products, and supplements. Don’t forget to include the purpose of why you need to take them (this is to help avoid duplicate prescriptions) and any crucial instructions, such as if you need to take it with food or before bedtime.
As much as possible, read the literature included with your medication from the pharmacy. Know the common side effects you might experience when taking the medication. Most of the time, allergic reactions such as heart palpitations or liver damage occur with prescription medication. Hence, understanding the purpose of your medicine and when and how to take it can help to ensure that you get the best result from your prescriptions.
Experts say that the trick is to create a system that works for you. However, it is always best to consult your doctor or pharmacist before you start taking medication. A health professional can sit down and discuss your conditions and options with you.
By educating yourself, you can get the most of your medicine. Being an informed individual allows you to make sound decisions about your health and treatment.