People with more complex medical needs, like heart failure, may require multiple medications throughout the day.
To ensure the safe, consistent, and effective use of medications, it is important to have a system in place.
Proper medication management has numerous advantages for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers:
- It reduces medication errors. Medication errors, such as improper timing or dosing, can result in unpleasant or dangerous side effects, make the medication ineffective, or even result in death.
- It helps achieve the best possible outcome. When medications are managed properly, your response to the dosage is carefully monitored. This means that if your health suddenly deteriorates or you stop responding in the same way, the prescription or dosage can be accurately adjusted to correct the situation.
It provides peace of mind. Many people, particularly the elderly, may have difficulty remembering to take medications on time. Having a system helps assure everyone involved that you are receiving the right medication at the right time.
Tips for Managing Your Medications
- Before taking any new medications, check first with your pharmacist about drug interactions with medications you are currently taking that could cause problems.
- Always ask your pharmacist about drug interactions with over-the-counter cough, cold, and allergy medicines.
- Keep a list of your current medications (names and dosages) in your wallet or on your smart phone.
- Know your drug allergies.
- If you take medications at set times throughout the day, you could set a timer on your phone as a reminder.
- When away from home, ensure you have your medications with you or keep extra dosages in your purse or wallet.
- Consider using a pill box or having the pharmacy make a blister pack with a separate day of the week and am/pm compartments to organize your medications.