We all have reasons for not taking our medication.
Have you ever done any of these things?
- Forgotten to take your prescription medication
- Didnít fill a prescription your doctor gave you
- Stopped taking your medication before it ran out
- Taken less than the recommended dose
If so, youíre not alone. Studies have shown that as many as half of all people donít take their prescription medications as directed.
If you donít take your medicine as prescribed, your disease could get worse. You may end up spending even more on healthcare. An additional $2,000 a year per patient in medical costs has been associated with not taking medications as prescribed.
There are six common reasons for not taking medications properly:
1. Theyíre too expensive.
If you are having trouble affording your medication, there may be help:
- Talk to your doctor about less expensive options.
- Review your prescription drug coverage. It may pay more toward a similar medicine to the one you are taking.
- Donít stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first.
2. Iím confused.
Make taking your medicine a little easier.
- Ask your doctor to explain each medication and why you need it.
- Ask your doctor about an easier dosing schedule or combination products to reduce the number of pills you take.
- Use pill boxes to organize daily doses.
3. Iím too busy:
Make your medicine a priority.
- Add it to your to-do list every day.
- Keep a supply in your office.
- Learn all you can about your condition. This will help you focus on your health.
- Make sure you understand the benefits and risks of your medicine.
4. I forgot:
Make your medicine part of your daily routine.
- Take your medicine at the same time every day. Use a cell-phone alarm to remind you.
- Put a note where you keep your medicine ó like the bathroom mirror or refrigerator door.
- Ask a family member to remind you.
- Mark your calendar or datebook to refill your prescription before it runs out.
5. I donít need them:
Your medicine could be a lifesaver.
- Think of your medication as part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Having no symptoms doesnít mean your condition is gone.
- Taking medicine doesnít mean you are sick or weak.
6. Iím worried about side effects:
Be informed. Whenever your doctor prescribes a medication:
- Tell your doctor about any other medicines that you are taking, including vitamins, minerals, and over-the counter products.
- Read the patient information that comes with the medicine.
- Ask your doctor what to do if you experience any side effects.
- If you do experience side effects, ask your doctor about alternatives.
If you have any questions, contact the M.Y. Benefits Office at 622-1324.