Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Follow Instructions When Taking Medicines

To get the most out of your medicines, you should take them exactly as prescribed by your physician. This will ensure that your health improves. 

Unfortunately, four out of 10 people who take more than one drug don’t follow their doctor’s instructions to the letter(I'm one of the four! GUILTY)

Experts say that about half of all prescriptions aren't used correctly and nearly a quarter of patients don’t  bother to have their prescriptions filled. Among the elderly, over a third of all hospital visits is caused by  medication noncompliance.

Noncompliance has many forms. Not taking the prescribed number of antibiotics or taking too much are common examples. Adherence is required to correct this. This is the ability of a patient to consistently follow the medication schedule and take what is needed either with or without food, at certain times of the day, or a certain number of pills. Taking each and every dose exactly as directed is the best way to ensure treatment success.

So what can you do to make sure you take your prescribed medicines? First, ask the right questions. Know if the drug has any side effects and learn how to deal with them. If the drug is too costly for you, inquire if there’s a cheaper alternative.

Doctors should ensure that patients understand what their illness or condition is and how the medicine can help them. Will the drug cure the illness or merely relieve symptoms? For your part, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist regularly about your medication. Understand why you’re taking a particular drug and what to expect from the medication. Never stop taking any drugs without informing your doctor immediately and always explain why you've decided to stop.

If you ever miss a dose, ask what you should do. There are different instructions for different drugs.