So, your doctor prescribes you medications you need to take religiously and as prescribed. Medication adherence involves several factors, like getting prescriptions filled, remembering to take the meds on time, and understanding the directions.
Unfortunately, not everyone can adhere to medication schedules due to several reasons. Some don’t have enough funds to pay for the meds, while some have difficulty keeping up with multiple medications.
Here are some examples which medication adherence can pose challenges:
When people start to feel better and no longer have symptoms, it’s common for some to stop taking their antibiotics. However, the antibiotics were prescribed due to an infection, which means it should be taken in full course. Otherwise, a small number of bacteria may still be alive. The bacteria may develop into a new strain that can then spread.
So, if you were prescribed antibiotics, make sure you follow these tips:
- Take all doses, even if the infection is getting better
- Don’t stop taking it until your doctor tells you
- Don’t share it with others
- Don’t save unfinished antibiotics for another time
People with HIV/AIDS often have a challenging time taking their medications as prescribed. This is due to several reasons:
- Multiple drugs should be taken at different times and that can make it hard to remember
- Some drugs have side effects that can make people feel worse
- Some people are not aware of the risks of drug resistance that can occur if they stop treatment or skip or lower doses.
Keep in mind: Skipping doses or stopping your prescribed meds may put you at risk of developing strains of HIV that are resistant to the meds you are taking. In turn, this may result in fewer treatment options should you need to change treatment in the future.
It’s extremely important not to miss prescribed medications. If the side effects of your meds bother you, talk to your doctor about what you can do to lessen the problem. Your doctor may be able to switch it to a different one or adjust the timing of the dose that will suit you best.
Make sure you set daily routines to take medication. It will also be helpful to check whether you’re eligible for drug assistance programs in your state.
Another thing you can do is to keep medications where you’ll see them quickly. For example, if you have medications that should be taken with food, place them on the table or wherever you eat on a regular basis. For medications that must be taken in the morning, place them in the bathroom next to your toothbrush.
It’s also a good idea to have a written or computerized schedule that can cover the medications you take, how frequent you should take them, and any special directions.
It’s not advisable to miss a prescribed medication, especially if you’re taking antibiotics or meds for HIV/AIDS. Use the tips mentioned in this post to help you ensure you never miss a prescribed medication again.
My Medication Log is a medication tracker you can download to help you never miss taking your meds again. Download it today!