One of the most important tasks a senior must do each day is take his or her medication. Health care professionals look at a number of factors before they write out a prescription, and it is up to the patient or caregiver to follow the proper regimen.
Grave situations can occur if patients forget to take their medications or switch the order or number of pills prescribed per day. Serious health complications may result.
Here are a few tips that can help keep you or your loved one on track:
- Know why you are taking the medication
- Know when and how to take the medication
- Properly store all medications, keeping them away from heat, light, and moisture
- Know what over-the-counter medications you can or cannot take with the prescription medications
- Be sure to reorder before you run out
- Never take someone elses pills or give them your pills
- Take the whole prescription even when you start to feel better
- Take exactly what the doctor ordered
- Keep a list of all medications; keep a copy in your purse or wallet
- Place your daily or weekly allotment in a pill sorter if you have trouble keeping track of the regimen
- Be sure all of your doctors know what all of the medications are that you are taking so that the drugs don’t counteract one another
- Use one pharmacy if possible so that the staff and pharmacist get to know you and your health concerns
- If you don’t understand why you are taking something, ask the doctor. Don’t quit taking the prescription until he/she tells you it’s okay.
When people misuse their prescriptions by taking them at the wrong times or in the wrong quantities, or quit taking them at all, they are putting their health in jeopardy.
If you have any questions or concerns about any area of your medical care, do not hesitate to talk to your physician or health care provider. Get into a routine every day. Know what to take, when, and whether to take the medicine with or without food.
Prescription drugs are nothing to fool around with, and misusing the drugs can cause serious health complications. With just a few thoughful steps, you or your loved one can receive the full benefit of the prescribed medication.