Protect Your Health (and Your Wallet!) in 2013
By Mariah Obiedzinski, Care Pro MedPacks, Linn County LIVING WELL Magazine
If you are like many American adults, you probably have several prescriptions that you take regularly for a variety of medical conditions. However, your medications will be most effective if you take them as prescribed. It’s important to understand the directions your physician and pharmacist give you about when and how to take your medications and to ask questions if you have concerns.
What are the consequences of not properly taking your medications? It depends on what your medications are for. If you take too much of a drug, you could become very sick, or even incur organ damage. If you don’t take enough, you run the risk of worsening your condition or developing other complications.
As you can see, it can also cost a lot of money if you don’t take your medications as prescribed.
• Regularly missed medication doses can lead to an additional $4,000 in medical bills each year
• 30% of hospital admissions for seniors over 65 are due to prescription non-compliance
• 40% of people who move into nursing homes do so because they have trouble managing their prescriptions at home
How can you be sure you’re taking your medications properly? Ask a lot of questions! One option CarePro Pharmacies offer is the Brown Bag Program. CarePro patients can make an appointment to bring in all of their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications to show their pharmacist. The pharmacist then checks for drug interactions and answers the patient’s questions about how and when to take the prescriptions.
Many pharmacies also offer a medication planner program, in which pharmacists set up weekly reminder packs for patients who have trouble remembering to take or refill their medications. This is especially helpful for patients who take multiple medications, or who are very busy and don’t have a regular daily routine.
Taking your medications properly is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. You can maintain your health if you proactively manage your medications. Remember, if you have questions about your prescriptions, ask your pharmacist!