Medication management is, as it sounds, the practice of ensuring medication is taken on time, all the time, and administered correctly. It is a massive part of managing health, especially for patients who are chronically ill. Whether you are reading this to learn more about managing your own medication, or the medication of a loved one, this article will provide you with helpful tips and tools for the best possible medication management.
Invest in A Pillbox:
Let's start with the most obvious. You would not think it would need to be said as it is the single most common medication management solution, but it is often overlooked. While it may not be a comprehensive solution guaranteed to solve all your problems, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Furthermore, when combined with other medication management techniques it can prove to be an incredibly valuable tool. The more medication you take, the gladder you will be to have a pillbox. Even if you don’t need it to save your life it is a great step to take to save yourself a headache.
Pillboxes are available in nearly every conceivable size, shape, color, and format so the odds are you will find one that fits your needs. That said, if you are not sure, it’s a question your doctor or pharmacist has been asked a thousand times and they should be able to recommend one that works for you.
If you are feeling especially fancy, there are even higher-end pillboxes with some digital features such as automatic dispensers. This can be a nice choice for people managing a lot of medications or people with conditions such as arthritis that make fumbling around in a box with small pills a pain.
Here are some of our favorite options:
- SE7EN-DAY Weekly Pill Organizer – Simple and Effective
- Port x Polish Pill Box – Incredibly Stylish
- ASOBU Combine Daily Pill Box – Combined with a Water Bottle (You will never need to swallow dry)
Stick to Only One Pharmacy If Possible:
The urge to go to the closest drugstore after a doctor’s appointment can be hard to resist. However, the benefits of utilizing a single pharmacy far outweigh the convenience of using whichever one is closest. Even though it is entirely possible to transfer prescriptions between pharmacies, there is the chance that information could get delayed or even lost. If you are waiting on a refill that is never a good thing. Additionally, most modern pharmacies digitally record all the prescriptions a patient has filled. This allows them to spot any combinations of drugs that could be potentially hazardous, adding an additional layer of safety for you.
Review Your Medications Regularly with Your Doctor:
The same approach you take to keeping your house clean should apply to keep tabs on your medicine cabinet. You may not need to do a deep clean every time you get a prescription, but spring cleaning is never a bad idea. This means talking to a single healthcare provider about every medication you are taking (prescription, non-prescription, and supplements) and letting them know about any side effects you have experienced. They will then be able to make recommendations and ensure your prescription regiment is the best it could be.
Find Out What You Should Not Do:
Aside from reviewing your medications with your doctor, it never hurts to take a moment and talk about common mistakes. By speaking about mistakes that are common to medication in general as well as to your specific medications, you will easily be able to make note of common errors. Nine times out of ten, you will find the most common errors are easily avoidable, which is why simply asking your healthcare provider can be a huge step in the right direction to better medication management.
Follow the Instructions:
You thought the first one was obvious; this one is almost just as obvious. That said, it is very easy to only follow some of the instructions. Many people, especially those without lots of complicated prescriptions, do not have a hard time taking the right amount at the right time. However, that is not the only important part of the instructions. Storing your medication properly is a huge part of ensuring that they are safe and effective. Most medication simply needs to be stored in a cool, dry place. Unfortunately, if you have been storing them in the bathroom, that does not count. It may be cool and dry most of the time, but after showering the bathroom can be warm and steamy for an hour or more. That is not good for your medication. Deciding on a safe location with consistently cool and dry temperatures is an excellent way to make sure you are following all the instructions.
Use a Medication Reminder App and Other Digital Health Tools:
The final tip is to make use of your smartphone by downloading apps that can help you better manage your medications. Our app, MyTherapy helps you take control of your health in more ways than just letting you know every time you need to take your medication. Whether it is time to take a pill, go exercise, or record important measurements for your doctor such as blood pressure, MyTherapy makes it easy. In addition to packing all the features of a medical journal and pill reminder into one easy app, MyTherapy allows for the addition of family members so you or a loved one can help with medication management. Beyond that, MyTherapy provides a simple overview of your health. You can even export this data to a PDF and share it with your doctor, giving them all the information, they need to give you the best care possible.
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