With today’s advancements in the medical field, humans live longer than they did 30 years ago. This is largely thanks to the scientists who have invented medications used to treat different disease states to maintain health. However, in order for these medications to show their effects, they need to be taken correctly. As consumers of these medications, we can do our part in the following ways:
- Pay attention and follow the instructions on the prescription vial or box. Some medications need to be taken regularly while some only need to be taken as needed. Therefore, it is important to follow the regimen. Do not skip doses or adjust the dose on your own without discussing with your doctor.
- Do not use expired medications. Some medications can lose their efficacy after their expiry date while some medications can turn into toxic metabolites that can harm the body.
- It is always a good idea to know the names of your medications and their indications. This can make discussion of your medications with your doctor/pharmacist way easier.
- Report any adverse drug reactions that you experience to your doctor or pharmacist immediately. The same medication can have different effects on different people.
- If your medication regimen is complicated, explore different options to make taking your medications easier. Most pharmacies offer blister pack services and help pre-packing your medications so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to take certain pills. Other options are using a pill organizer, or even using a smartphone app as a reminder.
- Book an appointment with your pharmacist to review your medications every year. Sometimes, your medication regimen needs to be reviewed according to your current health state. Pharmacists can also review your immunization history to see if you require certain vaccines (such as influenza, shingles, pneumonia) to maintain your health