10 Medication Management Tips for Better Health
Nearly one-third of all Americans age 55 – 85 take at least five prescription drugs, and those with chronic illnesses may take over twenty pills a day. Simply sticking to a medication regimen can improve overall health, lower the chance for hospitalization, and even reduce healthcare costs by an average of $2,000 a year. Here are some of Richmond Hill Pharmacy’s best tips for medication management.
Use a single pharmacy. Having your pharmacist be aware of all drugs being taken can be as critical as having a physician know that list.
Use a pharmacy that offers a prescription reminder program such as Richmond Hill Pharmacy’s HealthReminder. The pharmacists will give you a personal phone call, not an automatic recording, to let you know when it’s time to refill your medication. They will also remind you when it’s time to contact your doctor for a prescription renewal.
Ask your pharmacist about bubble-packed medications that can be marked with each day and dose of medication.
Use an automatic medication dispenser. Richmond Hill Pharmacy recommends MedReady. It has a timed alarm system that notifies you or your loved one when it’s time to take meds, and it provides the right dosage automatically.
Consult your pharmacist about all drugs you are taking, including prescription medications, over the counter medicines, vitamins, and even herbal supplements. Your pharmacist can alert you if any items on the list have dangerous interactions.
Keep a current posted list (on a bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or other place you pass by each day) of all medications taken. This is particularly helpful if you have healthcare providers such as home health aides and nurses visiting the home and participating in a plan of care.
Always follow the prescription’s guidelines (such as dosage, time of day and number of times it is taken, and whether the medication should be accompanied by food or taken alone).
If you are a caregiver, perhaps the adult child of an aging adult, make sure that you and your parent fill out HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release forms. Doing so will give you legal permission to be included in conversations about your loved one’s course of care, including medications they are taking.
Safely dispose of any expired or leftover medications.
Do not take another person’s prescription medication.