In today’s medical age, medication can perform wonders. Whether it
is controlling your cholesterol, relieving pain, regulating insulin, or
numbing a headache, medicine can help individuals stay healthy and active.
However, it is important to follow prescribed dosages and take any medication
in a timely manner. Failing to do so can negatively impact your health.
The government estimates that an average of 125,000 people die every year
because they do not properly take their medicine.
According to statistics:
- Up to 58% of seniors make an error while taking their medication
- Up to 23% of elderly are admitted into nursing homes because they cannot
manage their medication usage at home
- Over 21% of drug-related issues arise because patients fail to adhere to
their medication schedule
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studies every approved medication
closely, critically determining the optimal dosage. Physicians usually
prescribe this amount to their patients and instruct them on how often
they can take this medication. Not following the prescribed dosage can
cause the medication to lose its effectiveness and also endanger your health.
Reasons for Medication Management Errors
Remembering to take medication on time can be difficult at any stage of
life, but the likelihood of forgetting increases with age.
Other reasons people fail to follow doctors’ directions:
- Some people try to save money by skipping doses and prolonging medication.
- They forget what the prescribed schedule was for their medicine.
- They start to feel better and believe they no longer need their prescription.
- Individuals who do not feel immediate effects may stop taking medicine.
- They may increase dosage because the drug works well.
- Individuals may not like the way the medication makes them feel.
For medication to work effectively, it is important to follow your physician’s
instructions. Not following the guidelines can place you at risk for future
health issues and can compromise your treatment.
Getting Smart About Your Medication
It is important that you understand what you put in your body—especially
when it comes to medication. Too often individuals leave their doctor’s
office without asking questions about their prescriptions and obtaining
necessary information. When you do visit your healthcare provider, make
sure to list any current medication, supplements, or vitamins you are
taking. Some drugs can negatively impact your health if they interact.
It is also important to obtain as much information as you can about the
medicine you are prescribed.
Some questions to ask your doctor:
- What is this medication called and what does it do?
- Are there side effects?
- What should I do if I miss a dose? What are the potential effects?
- Are there any dangerous interactions with other drugs or food?
- How long and how often should I take this medication?
- Should I eat anything before or after taking this medicine?
- How do I store it?
These questions will hopefully give you a better insight into the prescriptions
you are taking and will allow you to reap the full benefits of the medicine.
In case you are worried about managing your medication, here are some helpful tips:
- Take your pills at the same time every day, so that it becomes a routine.
- Place medicine within easy access such as next to your tooth brush or in
- Use a weekly pill organizer to monitor which medicine to take when.
- Set notification and reminders on your devices and around the house.
It is important to take your medicine in a timely manner for your health.
We hope this information helps you stay healthy, happy, and active. For
more healthy aging topics, please visit our blog!