Medication adherence is critical to the success of each drug. Sticking to the prescribed dosage and timing is essential to getting the most value from the medicine – not to mention that it can be detrimental to your physical health if you do not follow your doctor’s instructions. But in a world that is often full of responsibilities and distractions, it can be hard to remember when and how to take your meds. And the prescription drug adherence plot thickens when you’re groggy or confused as a result of a medical condition or from the drugs you’re taking.
The following tips will help you remember your doctor’s medical plan of action: which drugs to take when, and in what dosage.
1. Set an alarm or a calendar reminder
The software on your computer or the apps on your smartphone can make remembering to take medications much easier. You can use these programs to set a repeating alarm – one that alerts you every day at a certain time, or several specific times a day. And unlike a traditional mechanical bedside alarm clock, you can label the software-based alarm with helpful info, such as the name of the medication, how much to take, and other important details, such as whether to take with food, take after a meal, take on an empty stomach, etc.
2. Use fridge notes
Sure, it’s old school, but consider putting sticky notes on places in your home that you know you’ll see every day (or several times a day), like the bathroom mirror or on the door of your refrigerator.
3. Enlist the help of a friend or family member
Getting loved ones involved can be especially helpful when the medications you’re taking are making you tired or confused, or when your medical condition is related to memory issues. Ask a trusted family member to help you with scheduled reminders.
4. Call your pharmacist
The job of your pharmacist is not just to dispense doctor-prescribed medications to you but to also know the side effects and compositions of various medications and to keep good patient records. Pharmacists can provide you with information on the drugs they dispense, including how often and in what doses they should be taken, what other drugs may interact negatively with them, and much more. And their computers keep careful track of your purchase records, so that they can retrieve your prescription history at near-instantaneous speeds.
If you cannot find the literature that came with your drug or don’t remember other doctor-specified or pharmacist-specified instructions, do not feel the least bit uncomfortable in calling your pharmacist and asking them questions about your prescription medication.
Saving money on prescriptions
When your doctor prescribes medicines, you’ll be relieved to know that you can significantly reduce the cost of your prescription with the free FamilyWize card. FamilyWize negotiates with pharmacies across the U.S. to get discounts similar to what they give large groups like insurance companies and employers. FamilyWize then passes 100 percent of these negotiated discounts through to cardholders when they go to their pharmacist to purchase their medicine. Find out more.