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InterView Magazine

Don't Risk It

According to the World Health Organization, 50% of people with chronic disease do not take their maintenance medication on a regular basis. They are putting themselves at risk.

Take Your Medication

The drugs that people fail to take the most
are those that treat chronic conditions that have no symptoms, such as high blood pressure, or cholesterol, diabetes and depression. If you don’t feel sick, why take medicine? Taking the medication prescribed by a doctor can be crucial in avoiding the risk of 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 long-term
(maintenance) medication:
  • Forgetfulness. Sometimes people just need a reminder.
  • Assuming medication is not needed because symptoms cleared up.
  • Believing that the medication doesn’t help.
  • Fear of, or experience with negative side effects.
  • Confusion and/or not understanding the medication instructions.
  • The container is difficult to open.
  • Financial burden of cost.
  • 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 dosage allows, time it to take with your meals or some daily activity such as brushing your teeth.
Use packaging aids. Plastic daily-dosing 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.
Before you stop taking your medication — talk to your doctor.

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