- December 7, 2017
- Theresa Brehm, Pharm. D., Pharmacist
- Healthy Living
Managing medications can be difficult, especially for those who take multiple medications daily. Studies show that 50% of people over the age of 65 take four or more chronic medications. Poor understanding of medication regimens can lead to missed doses, duplicate therapy, adverse reactions, interactions, etc. Below are some tips to assist you, or someone you know, successfully manage medications.
Keep an updated list of medications and allergies with you at all times.
It can be difficult to remember all your medications. Ask your pharmacist to help you compile a list of your medications. Remember to include prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbals. Also, include medications you take on an as needed basis. Each medication should have at minimum the name, strength, and directions. However, it might be helpful to include the doctor's name and phone number, the time of day you take it, why you take it, and anything else you find helpful. Keep this list up to date when changes occur. Carry it with you and share it with your doctors, pharmacists, and other health care providers.
Tailor your medication regimen to your schedule.
Find a regimen that works for your schedule. If you have a hard time remembering medications here are some tips:
- Set an alarm to help you remember your medications.
- Keep your medications in a place where you will see them and remember to take them.
- Simplify your medications. Can you take them all at the same time? Could your doctor switch you to a long acting version so you only have to take it once daily rather than multiple times? Is a combination pill available to eliminate a medication?
- Coordinate your medications into your daily routine, such as taking them with meals (if allowable), when you brush your teeth, before work in the morning, etc,
- Set up a weekly medication planner.
Fill all your medications at the same pharmacy.
Filling all of your medications at the same pharmacy allows your pharmacist to identify potential interactions and medication errors. It is important to let your pharmacist know when, and if medications change, as sometimes the doctors forget to communicate these changes with the pharmacy.
Consider using a MedPak.
At your Hartig pharmacy, we offer monthly MedPaks for less than $1 per day. A MedPak is a disposable, easy-to-use medication planner, containing compartments for each day and different times throughout the day. The pharmacist sets it up and seals it to ensure proper medication regimens. The MedPak also has an up to date medication list for your convenience.
Speak with your Hartig pharmacist about starting MedPak and let us help make your medication management and pill sorting easier today.
As always, do not hesitate to contact your friendly Hartig pharmacist if you have any questions about your medications or need help managing your medication regimen!