Tips to improve medication adherence.
1) Educating yourself about your medication
Studying about your drugs and disease state is a very effective way to improve adherence. Once you are confident in how to safely and correctly take your medications, ask about any follow-up questions you do not know before starting treatment.
2) Pledge and committing to yourself
Creating a pledge to yourself by writing it down can help solidify your commitment to taking your medication correctly. State why it is important to adhere to your medication: “I will take my (drug) today to control my blood pressure.” Referring to your pledge daily or as needed may help remind you of the importance of your medication.
3) Keeping track of your medications
Complicated drug names, realities of everyday life, and difficult regimen schedules make adherence tough. Do not try and remember everything! Instead, create a list of your medications, prescription and over-the-counter. Provide a copy to family members, medical team, care giver and keep a copy for yourself, especially while traveling. Be sure to update your medication list and redistribute them as needed.
4) Creating a schedule
Using a calendar can benefit you with adherence of complicated medication regimens. Keep your schedule in a visible area and include the exact time and days you need to take your medication. The easier to read it is, the easier it will be to follow.
5) Setting up Reminders
One of the most common reasons for non-adherence is forgetfulness, which is why using reminders is one of the best ways for most patients to adhere to their medications. Take your medications at the same time as something that is already a part of your routine, whether it be brushings your teeth, taking a shower, eating breakfast, or getting ready for bed, it becomes integrated as a part of your daily schedule. Setting an alarm to keep you on track or using a pocket pill box that vibrates, cap timers, a watch with reminders or voice alarm. You may also use a variety of smart phone apps that allow you to create alarms for numerous medications, look up drug interactions, and following refills and more. Below is a list of Apps for medications
Dosecast- Medication Reminder
Drugs.com medication guide
MedCoach Medication Reminder
Med Helper Pill Reminder
MediSafe Meds and Pill Reminder
Pill Monitor Free-Medication reminders and logs
Pill Reminder AnyTimer
Pill Reminder by Drugs.com
6) Help from Family and Friends
Family, friends and loved ones can play a huge role in adherence. You can give them access to your calendar, schedule and medication list. They can help by recommending tools for reminders or even remind you on when to take your medication. Not only is this beneficial for you but also for them as this gives them an opportunity to feel helpful. Friends and family may even help with transportation to the pharmacy or even help pick up refills. Do not be afraid to ask for help, it is always easier when you have support from family and friends.
7) Utilizing your pharmacy
Use the knowledge and accessibility of your Pharmacist! Schedule a CMR and allow the pharmacist to provide medication therapy management services to provide medication therapy reviews, personal medication lists, a medication-related action plan (including adherence), and interventions and/or referrals to other healthcare providers.
NeoCitizen Health Guides
University of Houston College of Pharmacy PharmD Candidate, class of 2018.
Indian Pharmacy Student Association
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