Taking medication is part of everyday life for many of us. When it’s something we do each and every day, and for some, multiple times a day, it’s easy to forget how important it is to think carefully about that medication.
Don’t just pick up the prescription your doctor prescribes at the pharmacy, put it in your medicine cabinet, and take it blindly. Take control of your health by being more responsible with your medication.
Consider Generic and Alternative Medications Very Carefully
Medication can be very expensive. Some people with medical conditions end up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month on prescriptions. If you’re spending a lot, there’s nothing wrong with considering generic and alternative medications, but consider them very carefully.
In the case of the generic for Actos, which is taken to manage type 2 diabetes, you aren’t actually going to save any money. Not to mention, the generic comes with some nasty side effects that you won’t see with the standard medication.
Alternative medicines might include natural supplements, but they might also include other medications that may seemingly offer relief and support. No matter what you choose to take, make sure you talk about it with your doctor. They can tell you if it will not only help your condition, but if it won’t negatively interact with other meds that you’re taking.
Keep Your Meds Out of the Bathroom
Where do you store your medications? The medicine cabinet in the bathroom is a natural place to store medicines, but you should think again. Medication can be compromised when exposed to heat and moisture, which are two things that the bathroom has in abundance when anyone takes a shower or turns on the tap.
The question is, where should you keep them then? Some good places to store your medicine include:
- Inside a locked bedroom drawer
- On the highest shelf inside a kitchen cabinet
- In the refrigerator for medications that require it
Always Have a List of Medication With You
Medical errors are a real problem. It’s the third leading cause of death in the United States. It includes mistakes made in emergency situations and surgeries, but it can also include giving patients improper medications.
One thing you can do to reduce your chances of experiencing a medical error is to carry a list of medications with you at all times. If you are in an emergency situation, responding physicians can see right away what you take when your list is in your purse. Your doctor can look at your list before prescribing you another medication, and your pharmacist can determine the correct dose, depending on the other meds you take.
Always carry a list of your medications with you in your purse or your wallet, and make sure your list goes with you when you travel.
Rethink Your Dosages
Making sure you get the right medication is important, but you also need to consider how much of that medication you take. In most cases, it’s always better to start with the lowest possible dose when beginning a new medicine.
It’s also worth your time to rethink the dosages for medication that you’re already taking. There’s a chance that you may be able to split a pill in half or take another pill less often, depending on your condition and your progress. Not only is it better for your body, but taking less medication can also save you some money.
Get Close With Your Doctor and Your Pharmacist
Don’t let your doctor shoo you out the door as soon as you arrive. Take the time to get to know your doctor, ask them questions, and bring up your concerns. If your doctor seems too busy or uninterested in talking to you, it’s time to find another doctor.
Don’t just focus on your relationship with your doctor when it’s your pharmacist that actually fills your prescriptions! Get to know your pharmacist too, which means asking questions and bringing up your concerns. Make sure you have just one pharmacist so they know all of the medication you take. That way, they can make accurate suggestions on medication alternatives and dosages.
Many people take medication today, and many of those people take multiple medications. Just don’t make the mistake of letting it become such a normal part of your routine that you forget about it. Pay attention to what you’re taking, how much you’re taking, and where you’re storing your medications to decrease the chances of experiencing negative health consequences.