In 2011, researchers discovered that 50% of patients surveyed for a study didn’t complete the prescription of medication prescribed by a doctor. The reasons varied, but they set a dangerous precedent in healthcare. If you’re not taking your medication as prescribed, and practicing safe dosages, you could be at risk for serious complications.
Here are some of the ways you can protect yourself and stay healthy.
Verify Your Pills
Everyone shops around to pharmacies looking for the best possible price on medication. Some people go online, some people go to smaller pharmacies. Not every pharmacy or source is bad, but it’s important that you protect yourself when you’re comparing prices.
Use a pill identifier to verify what you’ve bought, and make sure you understand the dosage you need to take and at what frequency.
Verifying your medication is usually free, and very easy to do with the markings most drug companies leave behind. Colors, size, shape and insignias all provide clues as to what you’re holding. However, the best defense against a bad or wrong pill is to speak with a professional.
Create a Written Schedule
One mistake most of us make, especially younger people, is failing to write a schedule of our dosages. How many of us miss routine vitamins because we don’t have an alarm each day reminding us to take one?
Creating some kind of schedule, either written out or programmed into your phone, is essential for maintaining the discipline to finish your prescription as prescribed. There are reasons that dosages are spaced out, and if you wait too long you may have consequences or side effects to deal with.
Creating a schedule also gives those around you a way to hold you accountable, which is a powerful motivator for staying healthy.
Your doctor should be one of the first people you consult when you have questions about your medication. Make sure you take advantage of any consultation pharmacies offer to you and ask any questions related to your diet or other medications you’re taking.
Your doctor should also be constantly up to speed on your medical records, so he or she can make accurate assessments of treatment plans that won’t conflict with your allergies or other medications.
This part is your responsibility. Healthcare laws made it possible for records to be shared freely amongst healthcare professionals, but you need to communicate with your doctor because records can’t tell someone how your body feels.
Take the Entire Dosage
Taking the entire dosage isn’t some campy tagline, it has serious consequences for the future of antibiotics. If you don’t take the entire dosage, any viral bacteria that remains is essentially drug-resistant and freely multiplying. The next cold caught from your germs is that much harder to kill off with existing medication.
This responsibility is shared, and very easy to overcome. Just take your entire prescription.
Besides, medication disposal is a bit complicated and expired medications also present a hazard to children.
We don’t tend to consider the potential for abuse when we fail to practice safe medication. Talking with doctors, labeling, storing and taking prescribed medications, are the best methods for ensuring we don’t inadvertently harm ourselves or the wider world.
Also, remember that medication is a right. If you feel like you can’t afford a pill, or you’re having trouble paying for treatment, talk with your doctor to make whatever arrangements are possible.