THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING YOUR MEDICATIONS CORRECTLY
To get maximum benefit from your medications, it is important to take them exactly as prescribed by your doctor. In fact, your chance of a better health outcome improves when you take your medications as directed.
There are countless reasons medications aren’t being used as prescribed, and not all of them are intentional. Some people forget to take their medications or have difficulty understanding the directions. Others may stop taking their medications to avoid unpleasant side effects or because they think their medications aren’t effectively treating symptoms.
A better health outcome is the most significant benefit of using medication correctly as prescribed. Doctors prescribe medications to treat your symptoms and to help you manage or overcome certain health conditions. Failing to use medicines as prescribed can result in worsened health, longer recovery, unwanted side effects, substance use disorders, death, and other serious health conditions that require intensive treatment.
TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL
Make sure you understand the following points before you start taking any medication
1. Why you need the drug
2. How and when to take the drug
3. How to store the drug
4. What might happen if you don't take the drug as prescribed
5. Don't hesitate to ask your health care professional to write down any medication instructions
1. Use your medication at the same time every day to prevent the overlapping of doses.
2. Keep an updated list of all the medications on hand, so every doctor and specialist you meet with can screen for potentially fatal drug interactions.
3. Check to see whether your medications should be taken on an empty or full stomach.
4. Build medication into your daily routine so you never forget to take it, such as before brushing your teeth at night or after eating breakfast.
5. Use daily pill containers to help you keep track of whether you’ve taken your daily doses.
6. Refill your daily pill container on the same day every week to avoid doubling up on doses.
7. Use mobile apps like Sajilo Okhati to properly organize your prescriptions and for timely reminders and notifications.
8. Don’t share or give away medications. This practice is illegal and dangerous and can harm those who take your medications without a valid prescription.
9. Bring extra medication with you when traveling in case you stay longer than planned.
10. When traveling by airplane, always pack medication in your carry-on bag to prevent damage from changes in temperature and air pressure. Also, you’ll have it on hand if your luggage is lost or damaged.
11. Don’t stop using your medication unless directed to do so by your doctor, since abruptly stopping some medicines can lead to severe side effects.
When it comes to taking your medications, it's essential to follow your health care professional's instructions. Make sure you never:
1. Use your medication for any symptom of illness other than the one for which it was prescribed
2. Take someone else's medication or give your medication to someone else
3. Take more or less of a medication, unless directed by your health care professional
The following steps are designed to make it easier for you to organize your medications and related information.
1. List all medications that you take, which include prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.
2. Jot down questions you want to ask your health care professional.
3. Write down your medical information. This includes emergency contact, primary physician, and allergies and carry in your wallet.