As we and our loved one’s age, the likelihood that medications become a part of our daily life increases. According to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, 80% of older adults take at least two prescriptions daily and 36% regularly take five or more. The number of pills and medications increases when you also incorporate over the counter medications, vitamins and supplements. Needless to say, medication management can be a very confusing, but absolutely necessary task.
Review You or Your Loved One’s Medications with a Doctor It does not do any harm to have a regular conversation with you or your loved one’s doctor regarding different medications and possible interactions. Over time certain medications can lose their effectiveness or change due to the introduction of a new health concern. Having these conversations is vital to overall health.
Read Medication Labels The labels are there for a reason. They often list out possible side effects and directions for taking the medication. Look for recommendations about taking the medication with or without food, without alcohol and other best practices.
Understand Possible Side Effects Talk with your doctor, especially when you start a new medication, about possible side effects that may occur. Take note of any differences in your demeanor, weight, sleep pattern, hunger and even balance.
Consolidate You or Your Loved One’s Doctors and Pharmacists The ideal situation would be to have one doctor that’s aware of one’s medical history and medication plan. With a more consolidated team of professionals managing medications, the less likely there will be negative interactions and side effects.
Stay Organized There are plenty of tools and methods for keeping medications organized. Pill boxes come in a variety of sizes to help accommodate even the most complicated medication plans. However, there are also services like PillPack, that can organize you or your loved one’s medications and making it simpler and safer.