If you take medication, it is important to use them exactly as prescribed.
Otherwise, they may not be doing their job. Here are a few tips that will help
you organize your medicines:
- Keep a card in your wallet with the name of your medicines and the prescribed
dose. Change the information on this card regularly as your medications change.
The list is only as good as the information on it. This is your personal
- If you know what the medication is supposed to do, that will help you to
understand why and when you have to take it. Ask the pharmacist or the nurse
in your doctor's office to explain what the medication is designed to do
for you. You don't have to remember all the details.
- You should know these important facts about each medicine that you take:
name of the medication, how often to take it, how long to take it, the specific
time of day to take it, if it should be taken on an empty stomach or with
- Find out if there are any reactions or side effects you might experience
and what to do if they occur.
- Be sure to refill your prescription before it runs out.
- Find out what to do if you miss a dose.
- Learn how to store medications. Some need to be kept out of cold or heat
-- others need to be refrigerated.
- Keep your medications in a weekly pillbox with separate compartments for
each day of the week and different times of the day. You can set this up
once a week. These pillboxes will help you take all your medications on schedule
and you will know if you skipped a dose. Get help with setting this up if
you need to.
- Try to take your medications at the same time of the day so it becomes
part of your routine, like brushing your teeth.
- Throw away old or outdated medications.
- NEVER lend your medicines to anyone else, like friends or relatives.
If you find that you are regularly missing a dose or just don't feel confident
that you are doing things correctly, ask at your doctor's office for help.
Perhaps, the prescriptions can be simplified to help you do better.
Review Date: 5/1/2006
Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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