Managing medication properly is extremely important, whether you are taking one prescription or several. But keeping track of refills, dosage schedules, side effects, and more is enough to make anyone’s head spin! Try these tips to make managing your medication less of a burden.
Best Tips in Managing Medication
#1 Managing Medication: Bring someone along.
Try to bring another person along to your appointments whenever possible. Receiving lots of information at once can be overwhelming for anyone, and you may very well find you’ve forgotten half of what was said by the time you get home. A loved one can be a second set of ears to help you remember and record important information about your medications.
At the very least, bring a notepad and pen along to appointments to jot down things you don’t want to forget, or ask your health care provider to write down instructions and advice for you. Don’t forget to ask about how each medication should be stored.
#2: Managing Medication: Use your calendar.
You probably already use a calendar to jot down appointments, so let it help you with your medications as well. Figure out when each prescription will need to be refilled and add the date to your calendar so you can easily see when you are due for a pharmacy trip. Build in some extra time so that if something crops up you won’t run out of your medication.
#3 Managing Medication: Have a system.
If you are taking several medications, you may find it difficult to remember when to take each one. Pin your medication times to something else you do regularly. You might take certain pills with certain meals, take them before you brush your teeth, or take them right after you shower. Be sure though, to take into consideration your doctor’s instructions, as some pills are best taken at specific times of day, or with food. Consider setting a timer on your phone or clock as an additional reminder.
If you find yourself wondering if you took all of your pills for the day, you might find a labeled, compartmented pillbox handy. Alternatively, you could make up a checklist for each day and check pills off as you take them. If you keep your checklist in a handy place you can also use it to jot down any side effects you are experiencing, as well as questions you’d like to ask your doctor.
#4 Managing Medication: Keep a list of current medications in your purse or wallet.
Some medications should not be taken with others, so each medical professional you encounter should ask for a list of your current prescriptions before prescribing something new. Keep a list handy so you can share this information easily.
#5 Managing Medication: Get extra help.
If you or your loved one has trouble remembering to take their medications and simple reminder systems aren’t enough, get extra help. A caregiver who can stop by several times daily, a home health aide or visiting nurse, or help in the form of an assisted living community may be just the ticket to easing the burden of medication management.