It’s very likely that at one point, you have been prescribed a medication by your doctor to address a health issue. Individuals with chronic illnesses or recurring conditions may have more experience taking prescribed medication than others. While the medicine itself is meant to help your body fight an illness, heal and recover, proper adherence to a prescription is key to achieving the best overall results.
Unfortunately, on average, 50% of people with chronic illnesses fail to maintain their medication schedule. This can have dangerous, and sometimes deadly, consequences. Here are some reasons why it’s important to maintain your medication schedule, and some tips that may help you adhere to your next prescription.
As previously mentioned, the purpose of prescription medication is to help manage and overcome health issues. This is done with a consistent dosage of medication to tackle the main cause(s) of your condition.
Taking too much or too little of your prescription in a short amount of time can lead to further health complications. This may result in more doctor appointments, visits to the hospital, etc. While it is important to remember daily intake, proper dosage must also be kept in mind.
Specific Dosages for Best Results
It goes without saying, but your doctor is a highly trained medical professional. He or she prescribed your medication for a specific reason and knows the recommended dosage to tackle your illness. It can be very unsafe to alter your medication use without consulting with your physician.
If you feel like you should be taking a different dosage, or a different prescription medication altogether, it is important to discuss it with your doctor. Honesty and open conversation can go a long way in achieving the best results for your health.
Keep Living Your Life
One of the largest benefits of prescription medications is that they effectively manage your symptoms so that you can live your life with minimal interruption. This is especially true if you have a chronic illness like asthma or arthritis.
Improper adherence to your prescription could open the door for your health condition to worsen. This could inhibit you from doing the activities you love or spending time with your friends and family. Maintaining a proper medication schedule helps manage your health so you can keep living your life. (See also: Start Adopting These Habitual Changes to Live a Long and Healthy Life)
Some Tips That May Help
While adhering to your medication schedule is important, it can be easy to miss a dose or two. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track:
Use a Daily Pill Box
If you struggle with remembering the right dosage of a daily prescription, consider using a pill box. This will minimize daily guesswork and set your medication schedule week-to-week. Pillboxes can be especially helpful if you take more than one prescription drug per day.
Set an Alarm for Yourself
Similar to the pillbox, if you find yourself forgetting to take prescription day-to-day, an alarm may help solve the problem. Cellphones and smart watches make it easy to keep an alarm nearby anytime.
Make It Routine
You likely follow a similar routine every day, especially in the morning: wake up, brush your teeth, get dressed, etc. Why not try to incorporate your prescription medication into your schedule? Eventually, you may find that taking your prescription will become a habit.
Get Help from Family & Friends
If you feel like your own memory isn’t reliable, consider asking your friends and family for help. Make them aware of the medications you are taking and request that they remind you to take your prescription.
Know When It’s Time for a Refill
In some cases, you’re likely to need a refill on your prescription. To effectively maintain your schedule, you must be aware of how many doses you have left. Get your prescription refilled in ample time so that you can seamlessly continue your medication schedule.
Proper maintenance of your medication schedule will go a long way in leading a better, healthier life. Speak openly with your doctor about your condition, and adhere to the prescription they recommend by using a scheduling method that works best for you. Not doing so could result in more health complications and put you at further risk.
About The Author:
Ken Majkowski, Pharm.D, is the Chief Pharmacy Officer at FamilyWize, a company that offers a free prescription discount card and mobile app to help people better afford their medications. Ken brings more than 40 years of healthcare experience to the FamilyWize team, including 14 years of clinical pharmacy experience in retail, hospital, and home care.