How to Manage Multiple Pills and Medications
by Richard Freeland
Aging often includes taking a variety of medications. As your body ages, you may experience many health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Being prescribed multiple medications, however, could leave you confused about what pills need to be taken at what time each day, as well as which drugs interact poorly together.
How to Manage Taking Multiple Prescriptions for Medication
When you need to keep your prescriptions organized, you are encouraged to use several techniques that can ensure you are taking the right medications while avoiding over-medication or potentially dangerous drug interactions.
Doctors always recommend that people keep a full list of their medications with them wherever they go. You can keep this list in your purse or wallet for safekeeping. Having this list readily available can help paramedics know what medicines you are on before they treat you. It can also help doctors and first responders avoid giving you a drug that could act adversely in your body. This list should ideally be typed rather than handwritten so that people can read it easily.
Sometimes, doctors and other medical professionals are themselves the problem. According to Price Benowitz, LLP, a medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland, mistakes in administering medications lead to 7,000 deaths annually. Generally, these careless errors could have been avoided through a systematic investigation of a patient's medical history.
When treating you, doctors should pay careful attention to other medications you might be taking. Some drugs don't play well with other drugs and can cause adverse reactions. Also, sloppily written prescriptions and blasé communication with nurses and other professionals may lead to you being given the wrong medicines.
Always make sure your medication list is up-to-date, and that you present it to your nurse or doctor. The list should also contain any drug allergies you might have.
b) Place Medications in a Pill Organizer
Many pharmacies and retail stores sell simple pill organizers in which your medications can be stored. These organizers have compartments for each day of the week. You can put each day’s proper dosage of medication in each compartment and be assured that you will not take your medications twice in one day, nor forget to take a medication. These organizers are very affordable and can be placed on your kitchen counter or table so that you remember to take your pills each day.
Using a calendar can also help you keep your medications organized. You can write each day’s dosage down on your calendar or program it into your phone. When it is time to take your medication, your cell phone’s reminder can ring or buzz to remind you to take your medicines. Many people rely on calendars each day, even if their activities are the same and their medications rarely change.
d) Keep Your Prescriptions with One Pharmacy
Many people get confused about what medications they are taking because they use more than one pharmacy for their refills. When you keep your prescriptions at one pharmacy, your pharmacist will have a full record of every medication you have used since the time you became his or her client. If your pharmacist recognizes a potential hazard to your health or a combination that could be deadly, that individual can notify your doctor and recommend a different medicine. Your pharmacist will also be able to advise you about which over-the-counter medications you can use safely without affecting your current prescriptions or your health. Once you choose a pharmacy for your prescriptions, use the same one for your refills.
Following these tips can help you keep your medicines straight every day. As you grow older, you may need to take a variety of medications. Avoiding harmful drug interactions and overdoses should be one of your top healthcare priorities.
Richard Freeland is a freelance writer.
Photo Resource: Genbug at flickr creative commons.
More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:
What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. If you like our site, give us a Google Plus "thumbs up" with the "g+" button.