While Santa is checking his list, we need to make sure we are checking our rx "list" too before we visit the doctor or start taking new medications. Here is a list of 3 simple things you can do to improve your medication management experience.
1. Educate yourself on your ailment if you have not already done so. That, combined with the valuable insight of your doctor or pharmacist should take a lot of the confusion and anxiety out of taking a new prescription. Get to know possible side effects so you are prepared in advance if you feel them. Some great resources for this are the disease database, http://www.diseasedatabase.org this site can also guide you to bigger sites with more info on your specific issue. The center for disease control is also good, http://www.cdc.gov
To learn about your medications try
2. Commit to taking your medications. According to a 2010 New York Times article 50% of Americans do not take their prescriptions correctly. Wow! Simply forgetting to take your medication is only a small component to this problem- it is much deeper then that. A person needs to hold themselves accountable for taking the right dose at the right time. One way to help motivate yourself is to think of the reasons "why" you are taking medications- for your family, to enjoy life more, to stay active, to be pain free, to play with your grandkids, ......... what's your reason?
3. Get Organized, Get Better. This is one of my mantras. If you are on 3 prescriptions that are taken twice daily you have to open your vials over 175 TIMES A MONTH! Right there it becomes a hassle and a roadblock. Free your pills from the vial and load them either weekly or monthly into a pill box. So now you only need to open them 6-24 times a month. Pre-planning a week or months worth of meds saves a lot of time and frustration- and is show you are committed to taking them! (Keep you vials all in one place if you need to reference them.) Pill boxes, planners, reminders, or whatever we want to call them are available at most every mass and independent pharmacy in all sorts of sizes and configurations. The biggest selection in the USA at retail is at CVS, but you might find a special one that resonates with you online or at Independent pharmacies. Companies like Apothecary Products, Inc (the company that made me!) are introducing designer and trendy "fun" pill boxes. There are versions for the entire family including kids and pets. Pick one that works well, but one that you like to look at too!
Over the next few blogs we will go in depth into why and how pill boxes work so well. Learn more about specific types of reminders and other medication management tips at: http://susansimplesolutions.com/
Remember- Educate, Commit, Organize!
Have great holiday- don't forget your meds!