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InterView Magazine

Don't Rist It - Take Your Medication

According to the World Health Organization, 50% of people with chronic disease do not take their medication.  Those who don't take the medication they need are putting themselves at risk.

The drugs that people fail to take the most are those that treat conditions with no symptoms, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol. If you don’t feel sick, why take medicine?  Taking the medication prescribed by a doctor can be crucial in avoiding future more serious and sometimes incurable health problems.
Some people don’t take their medications because they feel overwhelmed by the number of different medications they are on. The American Heart Association reports that 60 percent of patients taking five or more medications are taking them improperly.

Other common reasons for not taking prescribed medication:
  • Forgetfulness. Sometimes people just need a reminder.
  • Believing that they don’t need the medication, or that it doesn’t help them.
  • Fear of, or experience with negative side effects.
  • Financial burden of cost.
  • Symptoms cleared up, so the medication must no longer be needed.
  • Confusion and not understanding the medication instructions.
  • Sometimes the container is difficult to open.
  • Difficulty swallowing the medication
How You Can Stay on Track
Try to stick to a routine.
Take your medicine at the same time every day. If the medication allows, time it with your meals or some daily activity such as brushing your teeth.

Use packaging aids.
Plastic dailydosing containers can help keep you on schedule. They also help you avoid questioning whether you took your medication each day. Also check with your pharmacy to see if they have individualized packaging services.

Ask questions.
Your doctor or pharmacist is there to help, so be sure to ask them as many questions about your medication as you need to. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask them to be clearer.

Get a reminder.
Some pharmacies offer programs designed to alert you when you need to get a prescription refilled.
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