Celebrate Take Your Medicine Week By Following These Steps

medical updateIt may seem like an overwhelming task, but a little information, organization, and help from your doctor can keep you on your medication schedule and away from drug interactions.

With each new prescription, remember to:  

  • Carefully follow all of your doctor’s instructions.
  • Talk with your doctor about medication cost concerns that might lead you to reduce or skip a dose, and ask about local and national resources for financial help.
  • Finish all of the medication, even if you start to feel better.
  • Keep taking the medication, even if you don’t notice an improvement in your symptoms right away.
  • Contact your health care team if you start to feel worse while taking a medication or notice new symptoms.

Stay on the prescribed schedule if you want them to be as effective as possible. Remember to:

  • Read the entire medication label on the container to make sure you take the right dose.
  • Take your pills at the same time every day, such as first thing in the morning or with lunch.
  • Use a chart, pill calendar, or your phone’s calendar reminders to set a schedule and track when you take your medication.
  • Use a weekly pill case so you know whether you’ve taken each day’s medication.
  • Ask family members or friends to remind you.
  • Ask your doctor what to do if you miss or skip a dose.

Once you and your doctor decide on a treatment plan, ask these important questions about each prescribed medication:

  • What’s the medication’s goal?
  • Is there a certain time of day I should take the medication?
  • Do I need to take this medication with food?
  • Are there any foods, drinks, or other drugs that can change the strength or effectiveness of this medication?
  • How long will I need to take this medication?
  • Why is it important for me to follow a schedule while taking this medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • What are the common side effects of this medication?
  • Can I crush my pills?
  • What follow-up tests will I need to monitor the medication’s effectiveness?
  • What should I do if I experience an unexpected side effect to the medication?
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