Pharmacist Tricia Meyer, AVP is trained to answer questions about medicine. She says it’s crucial that medications are taken properly because accidentally taking an extra dose or skipping a dose can be harmful.
“Patients can take several medications for each ailment or medical issue,” says Meyer. “As we become older, the likelihood of multiple medications increases.”
Tips for Managing Your Medications
Meyer recommends a number of things you can do to stay on top of your medicine.
Here are a few ideas:
- Set a daily routine to take your meds at the same time and place each day when possible. For example, take your meds before or after meals, bedtime or something you do every day.
- Keep a daily checklist. If you are on multiple medications, it can be confusing to remember if you have taken you medications, especially if you get interrupted by a phone call or visit. So keep a list and use as a daily checklist and mark off each time you take your medication so you won’t accidently take a second dose of the same medication.
- A daily or weekly pill organizer can be a great aid. Especially when the organizer is divided for different parts of your day like breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime.
- Use the alarm on your smart phone each day as a reminder to take your medication at a designated time.
- Mark refill date. Each time you fill a prescription, mark the date you can refill it again. This way you can remember to refill you medications before you run out of the medication.
- Keep a list of your current medications and update it frequently. Even patients on two or three medications can become confused on what doses or how often they take their daily meds. This issue becomes even more complicated when you are taking 10-15 medications which Meyer says is not uncommon. The list can also serve as a reminder of when to take your medications. It is also handy during your physician visit to have the most up to date list of your medications.
- Use one pharmacy if possible, and have all your medications filled at the same pharmacy for easy pickup and management. This will also allow your pharmacist to track and alert you as needed.
- Utilize new technology such as smart phone apps or reminders to your telephone, pager, etc.
Talk to your pharmacist for more ways that fit your lifestyle and help you keep your medications organized.