For many seniors, keeping their medications and supplements organized is difficult. The sheer number of prescriptions taken as well as vitamins can cause confusion which leads to errors when taking medications. Managing medications or having your caregiver manage them for you is an important step to improving your health.
Tips for Managing Medications
Keep an accurate list of all of your medications. Write down the prescription name as well as the dose, frequency of taking, directions and what it is for. Try to keep to a minimum, the number of medications you are taking. Certain drugs interact with others and you need to be aware if you shouldn’t be taking a particular drug.
Some prescriptions must be taken with water or food and others need to be taken on an empty stomach, several hours before and after meals. One example is grapefruit juice which interacts with many medications. Check with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to drink grapefruit juice. Another example is herbal remedies, many of which should not be used at all if you are taking any prescription medications.
Check with your pharmacy and doctor occasionally to make sure that the strength of your medications are accurate for you. Age and weight affect the amount taken of most medications. You could be taking too much or too little and some medicines should not be prescribed after a certain age. Many medications cannot be taken if you drink alcohol, so check with your pharmacist or doctor before drinking.
Be aware of side effects and if you are experiencing these or any other symptoms be sure to discuss it with your doctor. If you don’t think a medication is helping you, work with your doctor to find a suitable replacement.
If you find it difficult to remember to take your medications, pill organizers are available to sort them and pharmacies will also make up pill dispensers by the week as well as deliver your prescriptions if needed. If a chart or calendar works better for you, they can also serve as reminders to stick to your medication schedule. Medical alert companies can call you with reminders to take your medication. Let your pharmacist know if you need easy-open caps, large print on your prescription labels or other special packaging. Store your medications in a safe place.
Using the proper medication in the right way can benefit your health. Find out as much as you can about the medications you are taking and how they help with your health problems. Additional help managing medications is only a phone call away, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have more questions.