Do you take your medication as prescribed? Sticking to the prescribed times and dosage is important. Not taking medicine in the way your doctor instructed can actually worsen your condition or result in illness and hospitalization.
What Happens is You Don’t Take Medicine as Prescribed
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that failing to take medication as prescribed results in 30 to 50 percent of treatment failures . leading to 125,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Twenty five to 50 percent of those taking statins (cholesterol-lowering medications) who stop taking it within one year have a 1 in 4 risk of death.
- Up to 30 percent of new prescriptions aren’t filled
- Medication is not taken a prescribed half the time
- Most patients on medications for chronic diseases, reduce to stop taking medication after six months
- Only 51 percent of patients on high blood pressure medication continue taking their medicine long term
Why People Discontinue Their Medication
People fail to follow their healthcare professional’s instruction due to forgetfulness, complexity or complications with other prescriptions, the impact of side effects and perception that medicine isn’t working. Cost is another factor, as people sometimes take less to make it last longer.
Help With Taking Your Medicine
Taking your medicine as prescribed or medication adherence is important for controlling chronic conditions, treating temporary conditions, and overall long-term health and well-being. A personal connection with your health-care provider or pharmacist is an important part of medication adherence. “Because your pharmacist is an expert in medications, they can help suggest how best to take your medications,” says DeFronzo. However, you play the most important part by taking all of your medications as directed.
Make it Easy on Yourself
You can make it easier on yourself by obtaining your medications online. Eliminating the monthly trip to the drugstore helps you maintain a ready supply.
Eight Tips to Stick to the Routine
Here are some tips to help you stay on track when you take your medication.
Set Up a Routine
- Take it at the same time each day.
- Tie it to a daily routine such as brushing your teeth in the morning or at night. If it’s tied to a full or empty stomach, you may be able to take it before or after mealtime.
- Keep a calendar by your pill bottles and note when you take a dose.
- Use a pill container with multiple sections for morning, evening, and night or days of the week.
- Refill the pill container on the same day each week. For example, on Sunday morning before breakfast.
- Purchase timer caps that you can put on your pill bottles. Some pillboxes come with timer functions.
Tips for Traveling with Medications
- Bring enough of your medication for a few extra days while your traveling.
- Keep your medication in a carry-on bag to avoid lost luggage.
With a little organization and discipline, it’s much easy to get a routine going so that you don’t miss any doses of the medication you depend on for health and wellbeing.