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Maximising medicine benefits pt 2 considers Medicine Adherence and tips on how you can help yourself

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

How to maximise the benefits of your medicines – Medication Adherence

(Part 2)

Questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist

Here are some key questions that you as the patient can discuss with your pharmacist or doctor to help initiate, frame and guide a conversation about your medicine taking:

  1. Opener: E.g. I have a lot of medications to manage. E.g. I am taking my medications by doing the following ...?
  2. Elicit more information/guidance from your pharmacist /doctor-: Are there any medications that you, the patient would be less likely to take? Why is that? Are you worried? Do you think they are doing you any good?
  3. Is there anything that you could do differently that you think would help with taking the medications?

Help to ensure you take your medication as prescribed

Here are some general strategies that might be helpful:

  1. Some patients can get their medications provided in reminder packaging by the pharmacist. You might want to ask about that – I will discuss blister packs in greater detail in next week’s Westmeath Topic
  2. Some patients find it helpful to link taking their medication to a routine they do every day. For example, brushing their teeth or having a cup of tea in the morning or evening after they have eaten. Would that work for you?
  3. Is there anyone at home that can give you a reminder to take your medications or make sure that you have them available? Put a reminder into your phone or get someone to do so for you.
  4. Let’s see what happens to your blood pressure/cholesterol/other relevant sign or symptom over the next few weeks if you can take all doses of your medication as and when prescribed.

Unintentional reasons may be due to forgetfulness, confusion, or a lack of integrating medication-taking into daily routine. If this is you, then you might benefit from an organizational based approach to improving adherence like blister packs form your local pharmacy.

To be continued. Next week

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