We take medications to diagnose, treat, or prevent illness. Poor medication routine or poor medication adherence can lead to greater health complications. For example, if you have a bacterial infection and if you feel you are getting better following the medication, you may start thinking your disease is cured. If the full course of antibiotics is not taken, a small number of bacteria are likely to still be alive in your body. They might have some natural antibiotic resistance. If they develop and spread, you may again fall ill. As you are not closely following your doctor's orders, the drug can't work as well as it should. This could result in severe health risks and even death too.
What Causes Poor Medication Adherence?
If any of these apply to you, you may not be getting the full benefits of your medications.
Failing in understanding the doctor's directions/prescription
Forgetting to take medications timely
Multiple medications with different regimens
Medication seems not working
Experiencing side effects
Cost of the medication or taking less than the prescribed dose
Tips to Help You to Take Your Medicines
Medication adherence is for one's overall long-term health and well-being. As you are the main part of taking the prescribed medication, read on a few tips that help you to take your medicines timely.
Talk to your doctor without hesitation to know
Why you need the directed drug
Dosage - How and when to take the drug
How to store the drug
Side effects - Know what will happen if you don't take the drug as directed
Tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic, taking other medications, pregnant, planning for pregnancy, breastfeeding or on special diet.
Create reminders by setting an alarm to take medication at the same time everyday.
Purchase timer caps for your pill bottles.
Try apps which can keep a complete list of all your medications.
Ask your family members to remind you.
Habituate your medication schedule as a daily routine. For that, set a medicine calendar and strike out dates or days in calendar once you finish the medication for that day.
Make sure whether the medication should be taken before lunch or after lunch.
Maintain pill containers or pill organizers for multiple doses at different times (morning, lunch, evening and night). Refill those pill containers at the same time when a new week starts.
Take all doses of the medication even if the infection is getting better.
Never take the medication for other illnesses except the one for which it was prescribed.
Never share medication with others. Instead, advice them to consult a doctor.
Never take more or less of a medication without a doctor's consent.
List down all your medications – prescriptions, over-the-counter-drugs, vitamins and supplements. Now, note down questions and ask your doctor to know how to organise your medication.
Ask your doctor if there are any foods that should be avoided while taking medication.
Don't break, crush, or chew medications before swallowing unless you are told.
Your chance of a better long-term health improves when you take your medications as prescribed. If you have any questions about your medication, please meet your doctor. Delaying may cost your life too! Lastly, practice makes a man perfect.
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