For better health, better medication adherence

Are you one of those patients who strictly follow their Medication schedule? Doctors across the world have noticed the spike in patients who try to ‘adjust’ their medication schedule, quantity of pills or even the pills themselves without proper consultation. What this means?

Playing with Medicine Quantity:

There have been patients who, in their quest to get well sooner, pop up twice the number of prescribed pills. Check the below chart by Sheetal Pasrija, prepared at Consumer Health Information Corporation.

Percent of Patients Taking Less Medication Than Prescribed

Stopping medication before running out of it 29%

Don’t take full amount of medication prescribed 22%

Don’t fill the medication prescribed 12%

Reasons for taking less medication than prescribed may vary from cutting medication costs to lack of insurance on prescribed drugs. Patients with conditions like blood pressure have been known to suffer from organ failures due to avoiding medications. Besides, they end up spending much more on a visit to the ICU than they could possible save from avoiding or delaying medications.

Adjusting Medication Schedule:

Patients have been known to take medicines at the wrong time. Sometimes, they forget to take the before-your-lunch medicine. Out of guilt or remembrance, they take it after their lunch. Some of those pills can affect your health badly.

You are supposed to take medicines only as per the prescribed timings. Never forget that.

One of the ways you can maintain your medicine log, could be a physical piece of paper on which you write down the timings and follow it. Another could be to maintain a voice log using automated IVR service. But these are complex or impractical ideas which seldom work in real life. You can also take up medicine reminder services that call you at the time of your medication to remind.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications

In the United States, the manufacture and sale of OTC substances is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Many patients have shown a tendency to purchase over the counter alternative medicines. States such as Mississippi, Oregon and Illinois have passed state regulations to control the OTC of drugs such as pseudoephedrine. Again, some OTC drugs include emergency contraceptives and supposed to be sold based on ID verification to 17+ women consumers.

Sale or purchase of OTC medications is supposed to be done safely in a regulated environment. Patients are advised to become aware of these regulations or at least have correct information to follow, such that can be obtained easily on the FDA site.

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