Managing medication is a part of most Americans' daily routine. Seventy percent of adults report regularly taking one medication, over fifty percent take two, and twenty percent of individuals take five or more medications at once. Although many use a system to ensure they take their prescriptions as scheduled, health events and hospitalizations can result in medication and dosage changes that disrupt one's regular routine.
Consider the following options to streamline your medication management process:
- Written reminders
- Pill container organizers
- Pill bottle timers
- Medication management apps
- Medication sorting services
Written Reminders: Pick a location in your house that you pass by often. Use sticky notes, a white board, a calendar, or other means to place highly-visible reminders to take your medication. You can set digital reminders on your smartphone or computer as a recurring alarm or calendar event to help stay on track.
Pill Container Organizers: Especially important for those managing multiple medications, a pill organizer allows you to sort all of your prescriptions for the week in a clearly-labeled container. Multi-level organizers include days of the week and times of the day for prescriptions taken on an hourly basis. Devoting one day to filling your organizer for the week will save you time and mental energy.
Pill Bottle Timers: Pill timers allow users to set alarms for when medication is due, sounding a notification right from the pill bottle itself. These timers also track when the bottle was last opened, so users can calculate when their next dose is due.
Medication Management Apps: Take digital reminders one step further and download a medication management and tracking app to your smartphone. Choices including Medisafe, Dosecast, and MedHelper are available for both Android and Apple products, allowing you to add prescriptions by name and set personalized alerts for when medications are due.
Medication Sorting Services: Using a service that pre-sorts your prescriptions into daily dose pouches or blister packs can be especially valuable for indivdiuals with complex drug regimens. Many retail pharmacies including CVS can package your medications in this manner at your request. Otherwise, consider an independent pharmacy like PillPack, which offers medication sorting and delivery to customers nationwide after insurance qualification.
It is imperative to manage medications correctly, as errors in taking prescriptions can be life-threatening. Ask others for help as needed or discuss solutions with your doctor if taking your prescriptions at the right times seems difficult. Ultimately, adopting a personal medication management system is a short-term investment with long-term health benefits.
Mayo Clinic. "Nearly 7 in 10 Americans are on prescription drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619132352.htm>.
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