Proper medication management is essential for anyone who takes more than one type of medication, which is also known as polypharmacy. Elderly patients are a prime example of individuals who take several different types of pills and vitamins, and proper medication management can potentially save their lives as well as their health.
How can healthcare providers help? Here are several medication management tips you can share that will drive better results from these non-compliant patients.
Make Sure Patients Know Why They Are Taking Medications
Patients should know exactly why they are taking a certain type of medication. This helps them know just what their medicine is for and how they should take it. Not only that, but knowing what medications are for can be of great help to caregivers who might be wondering whether or not their patients could be taking too many medications for a single health issue.
Have a Current List of Medications
It’s a good idea for patients to have an updated list of all of their medications, dosages, how often they take their medication, and the reason that they’re taking medication. This simple list can keep individuals from experiencing adverse effects from their prescriptions.
On a related note, individuals should also bring this list with them whenever they visit their physician. They should include any over-the-counter supplements or herbal supplements that they might be taking at the time. The more information that doctors and pharmacists have about which medications a person is taking, the better they’ll be able to make sure they’re getting the right kinds of medication.
Get a Second Opinion
Not every doctor and pharmacist shares the same opinion about which medication patients should receive. Some doctors prescribe medications that a person shouldn’t be taking or medications for the wrong reasons. If a patient isn’t sure that they should be taking a pill, he or she should not hesitate to get a second opinion.
Patients should also know that their pharmacists are there for them if they ever have any questions about their prescriptions. Specifically, patients should ask about potential side effects, how to store their medications, and how much of their medications they should take and when. Patients should also speak with their doctor or pharmacist if they are thinking about stopping their medications.
A few simple suggestions for medication management can go a long way. Non-compliant patients and patients who are eager to comply with doctor recommendations can increase their health and decrease the risk of adverse effects with the right medication management plan. Click here for ideas on how to easily communicate these tips to your patients.