“Use as directed.” You’ve likely seen this phrase or a similar version of it on medication labels. It’s on there for good reason: Following your doctor’s orders is a crucial part of your treatment plan. By not taking your medications as directed, you run the risk of complications, especially if you are being treated for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Medication adherence is easier said than done, though. There are many factors that could prevent you from taking your medications, including cost and transportation.
Here are some convenient ways to stick to your treatments:
Talk to your doctor. You are more likely to take your medications if you also understand why they are being prescribed. Have questions about side effects or another aspect of your treatment? Ask your doctor. He or she can tell you why a specific medication was chosen or clear up any confusion.
Consider mail-order options. If transportation to the pharmacy is a common issue, look into mail-order/90-day supply options. These handy services can save you the trip and possibly some money. The less often you have to visit the pharmacy, the more likely you’ll follow your regimen.
Consider generic medications. Cost can be a big factor in medication adherence. Inquire about generic alternatives that are priced lower than brand-name treatments.
Take advantage of adherence aids. Do you always seem to forget to take your medicine? Pillboxes and smartphone apps are just a few of the resources available to keep you on track with your medications. These tools can remind you about timing and other parts of your treatment plan.
EMBRACE | August 2018