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Key tips for getting the most out of your medications

by Staff Writer
28 Dec 2022 at 12:57hrs | Views
As we get older, many of us learn that we need to take at least one prescription to treat a long-term health concern. This happens all the time. Even though it becomes second nature after a while, some people struggle to remember to take their prescriptions, open child-resistant bottles, use asthma inhalers, or put eye drops in their eyes.

Medicines may improve your health. However, if drugs are misused, they can make you feel worse or cause health issues. Follow the instructions below for the proper and organized use of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Prepare a List

Make a list of all the medications you use. Include the brand and generic names of any medications you take, as well as the reason you take them and any important dosing instructions.

Even the most basic vitamins, dietary supplements, and OTC medications are not always safe. Some items may alter the effects of your medication, while others may have the opposite effect. Learn everything you can about each medication and be aware of any potential side effects.

Excessive use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs available over the counter, for example, may result in gastrointestinal bleeding, headaches, and ulcers. If you take St. John's wort, your birth control pills may become less effective. Both aspirin and gingko biloba have been shown to have blood-thinning properties; however, combining either of these over-the-counter medications with a prescription-only blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin, may increase the risk of stroke or bleeding.

See Your Doctor Regularly

It is essential to have regular contact with your doctor, ideally a neurologist, to assess the effectiveness of the medication as well as the continuing necessity for certain prescriptions. Because your body metabolizes medications differently as you age, you may no longer need to take a therapy that your doctor prescribed for you many years ago. It might be the source of other problems, such as lightheadedness and accidents.

For example, an elderly Parkinson's disease patient who was previously able to take dopamine agonists such as pramipexole or ropinirole may begin to encounter unpleasant side effects such as hallucinations as they age. Also, many drugs, like those used to treat epileptic seizures, need blood tests often to make sure the right doses are given and to see how the drug affects the liver enzymes, metabolites, and electrolytes in the body.

You may also check your prescriptions online to help you understand them and address any concerns you may have with them.

Get Organized

According to a 2009 survey of Medicare recipients, more than half of older people do not take their prescribed medications as instructed, despite their best efforts. Keeping track of prescriptions and bad medication interactions is difficult for anyone, but it is significantly more difficult for those who have memory problems. Use large pill boxes with distinct sections for each day to keep track of your medication schedule, even if it runs from breakfast to bedtime. Try different iPhone apps, beepers, and computer programs that can help you keep track of things. It aims at finding a way that is tailored to your specific requirements.

Educate Yourself

Know which prescription medications you are taking and why, and be mindful of how these prescriptions, as well as meals, alcohol, and even vitamins, may interact.

You should also be informed of the potential side effects of medications. If you are taking medicine to treat a bladder infection, for example, you should expect your symptoms to improve gradually. This is not the case with drugs prescribed for chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Each symptomatic therapy for an illness, such as pain, stiffness, or bladder dysfunction, has its own set of side effects. For example, a person may find themselves taking two to three medicines, all of which may have sedative properties.

Take Special Notes

Since it is usual for a large amount of time to pass between visits to a physician, people may not remember the adverse effects or benefits of a prescription from the time it was initially given to them (often as much as six to nine months). Patients should write down some brief notes between doctor's appointments to keep track of the positive and negative effects of any new drugs they take.


Non-adherence occurs when a patient fails to take their medicines as prescribed, either by accident or on purpose. Healthy habits and a good understanding of the prescription, on the other hand, are crucial components of adherence and may make it simpler for you to take your prescriptions at specified intervals. So, if you follow the above tips, it will be easier for you to take your medications as prescribed.

Source - Byo24News