When it comes to taking medication, winging it is never a good idea. Regularly taking your medications as prescribed is so important, says registered pharmacist and CVS spokesperson, Kenisha Carr. Taking the prescribed dose at the prescribed time, finishing the full course of medication and getting timely refills, can be key to maintaining good health. Yet, as Carr points out, 61 million Americans fail to refill their prescriptions on time. Surprisingly, 47 percent of women believe they are more likely to forget their own medications than to give medication to another family member, she adds.
Whether its because they are in denial, start to feel better after just a few doses, are bothered by side effects, decide that twice the dose will be twice as effective, cant afford the cost, or just forget, an estimated two-thirds of U.S. patients dont take their prescribed medications as directed, and half of those dont bother with them at all. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you get a prescription, and a few reasons why "Take as Directed," should be considered more than just a polite suggestion, it's just what the doctor ordered.
Share Your History Always inform your health care providersincluding your pharmacist--of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as any supplements or vitamins you might be taking. Having all your prescriptions filled at a pharmacy that checks for drug interactions will also help insure that you dont suffer an adverse reaction.
But Not Your Drugs: Just because a medication helped alleviate your post-surgical shoulder pain, doesnt mean your friend with the torn ligament will benefit from it. Even if he might, prescribing and dispensing medication without a licenseeven to friends and familyis never a good idea. Just say no to sharing your drugs.
Dont Just Quit: If you feel the medication isnt working in a timely fashion, or you are bothered by some side effect, consult with your health care provider before discontinuing it. Sometimes a simple dose adjustment or a slight alteration in the prescription is enough to make a huge difference.
When You Forget, They Remember: CVS/pharmacy has a program called ReadyFill that will cross one to-do off your list by automatically refilling maintenance prescriptions. The pharmacy will even contact your prescribing physician or nurse when you are out of refills, so you dont have to worry about running out. All you have to do is pick up the prescription (and youll even get a reminder call to do that). You can find more information, and see if ReadyFill is right for you, at www.cvs.com/readyfill.