IntroductionAdhering to your drug routine (or medicine adherence) implies taking your pharmaceuticals as recommended – the correct dosage, at the specific time, in the correct way and frequency. Why are these things vital? Basically, not taking your prescription as endorsed by a specialist or educated by a drug specialist could prompt your illness deteriorating, hospitalization, even demise. Since your drug specialist is a specialist in medicines, they recommend how best to take medicines for your well being.
In the following aspects one has to take a lot of care for proper cure of ailments and after improvement of the health of the patient:-
Strictly follow the Doctor's advice regarding medicationPrescribed medicines by doctors have to be taken by the patient punctually, with the correct dosage and frequency as well as the complete administration of the course. The strict following of drug routine will help in the proper curing of disease and also help to prevent the recurrence of the disease after cure. Some people stop the medication as they got relieved from the ailment or fever without completing the full course prescribed by the doctor. Due to this, the germs which cause the infection are not completely killed and they again recover as well they become stronger. So the disease again reappears and this time we have to use more powerful medicines to kill them and in that case, our body becomes weaker. This is especially the case with patients with Blood Pressure and Diabetes - after using the medicines for some time, they think they got cured and so they neglect in taking the medicines prescribed by the doctor regularly or even they stop taking the medicines. The various symptoms of the above ailments cannot be noticed externally by the patient, but actually, because of not using the medicines, the important organs of the body like Liver and Kidney will be affected severely which may even lead to death.
Drink plenty of water while consuming medicinesThe medicines we take orally should be taken with plenty of water because these medicines have to reach the small intestine so that they will be absorbed into the blood through their inner walls. If one doesn't drink sufficient amount of water after taking medicine, the tablets stick to the walls of esophagus or stomach and cause ulcers to them. We should not take hot liquids like Tea or Coffee after taking hormone tablets like Thyroid medicine. Hormones provided to our body in the form of tablets do not work at a higher temperature.
Use the medicines punctuallyPatients should use the medicines punctually according to the prescription of the doctor. Medication should not be stopped until the doctor said so. Patients should be very careful with regard to lifelong ailments. In lifelong ailments like B.P. or Diabetes, patients have to use the medicines punctually and have to visit doctors at the prescribed time. Regular visits to the doctors by patients will help the doctors monitor the condition of the patients properly and if necessary they can change the dosage of the medicine at the appropriate time so that the health of the patient can be maintained.
Take medicines timelyTimely consumption of medicines is a good habit which definitely helps better curing of the ailment. By mistake, if you are late for one or two hours, even if it is a little late you can definitely consume it immediately. But don't take two doses at one time at night because you have forgotten the morning dose. If a long duration is there between two doses, then one can take the dose even if it is too late, but never take two doses at one time.
Don't take a medicine which is prescribed for others for the same diseaseEven though both the persons have the same symptoms and got the same problem, one should not use the medicines prescribed for the other person. Doctors prescribe the medicines differently in different dosages for each patient taking into consideration the gender of the patient, the weight of the patient, the body nature of the patient, etc. Some medicines which are prescribed for one patient may bring some allergic conditions and complications to another patient. For example, the medicine given to a diabetic patient if it is used by another patient without visiting a doctor, the blood sugar level may fall down drastically and may lead the patient to go into a coma condition. The reason is the dosage of the medicine which was used by another patient may become high which may lead to severe consequences.
Don't venture into self-treatmentSome people avoid the doctor's fee & they buy medicines from the medical shop and do self-treatment. This may sometimes lead to unknown complications. For small headaches and viral fever, you may consume paracetamol like uncomplicated medicines but should not use pain killers without a doctor's prescription. If such painkillers are used for a long duration, then they may affect the functioning of our kidneys and liver severely. Excessive use of painkillers may cause the reduction in platelet number in blood, ulcer formation as well as bleeding.
A few tips while taking medicinesNot only taking medicines punctually is important, but also the timing at which these medicines to be taken is also important. Certain medicines are taken to remove gas formation, acidity and medicines used for T.B. have to be taken early morning without taking any food. Certain medicines like antibiotics and painkillers have to be taken after breakfast or meals otherwise they cause ulcers on the intestine wall. Vitamins and steroid tablets have to be taken after meals. So in whichever way doctors advise to take the medicines, we have to follow the same way in order to avoid the problems or complications.
Unless or otherwise a doctor advises to take the medicine by making the tablets into a powdered form or dissolving the tablet in water, such things should not be done. We should not break the capsules and take out the powder to consume it. Most of the tablets or capsules manufactured in such a way after consuming them, they move into the intestine and there they dissolve and then move into our blood and work.
Sometimes if a patient has to take the 2-3 medicines at a time, we have to consult the doctor whether we can take all the medicines at one time or we have to give a certain gap between their use. Usually, there may not be any problem by consuming all the medicines at one time. But medicines used for allergy and tablets used for sleeping when taken at the same time may cause more drowsiness.
Ask doctor clearly regarding the ailment and medicationPatient or supporter of the patient should provide all correct information regarding the symptoms and problems the patient is facing. In subsequent visits to the doctor, the patient or supporter of the patient has to inform the changes what they observed after medication. This will help the doctor to change the medicine or to change the dosage of the medicine according to the need of the patient. Whenever they visit the doctor in subsequent times, the patient has to show all the reports & records of the previous visit, prescription slip etc. to the doctor.
Don't change the power or dosage of the medicineSome people out of fear of medicines will reduce the power of antibiotic capsule from 500 mg. to 250 mg. or one full tablet prescribed by the doctor to half tablet thinking that high power may affect their body physically. But because of not taking the full dose, the germs which cause the disease may not be killed completely and may become more powerful to affect the patient for a prolonged duration.
Don't use the medicines if the expiry dates are overDon't use medicines whose expiry date is over. Sometimes they may not work at all and that will prove fatal for the patient. Even though taking medicines after expiry date may not cause severe harm, our ailment may not be cured and one gets troubled more.
Tips to avoid medication mistakes
A good article by the author with a good narration of tips, care and precautions to be taken by us during medication. These days, people are getting half educated in almost all subjects by going through various websites using the internet and reading articles. When we go to a doctor he will advise us to get some tests conducted. The We see the results and search the web and make some assumption about the illness. This is a very bad practice. This half knowledge is very dangerous. There are people who start using medicines basing on our own knowledge. We should not do that. We should go as per the doctor's advice. Another aspect I have noticed is that some people go for multiple therapies for the illness. What I mean is that, some people consult an allopathy doctor and start using medicines. Simultaneously he will consult some ayurvedic doctor and start using that also. But this is also not correct. Don't go for more medicines at a time. Follow one doctor and if you are not happy with that doctor, go to another doctor and follow his advise. Stop using the medicines prescribed by the first doctor. A good discipline in using medicines is very much required for a better result at an early time.
A nice article regarding good tips for medication users.
Taking prescribed medicines for chronic diseases are sometimes underestimated by people. Eg: thyroid supplements for patients with under active thyroid are often skipped. Some people adjust the dose themselves which would be inappropriate.
It is very important not to continue painkillers for weeks without medical review or advise. Most patients, visit once and then whenever they get the same symptoms they keep taking painkillers on their own.
Many patients keep all tablets in a bundle and drop it on the doctors table and there would not be time to check everything. Simple, efficient way is to write down in capital letters the dose and timings clearly and give it to the doctor.
Sometimes doctors are busy and often a confusion comes to take it before food or after food. So please ask the doctor just before you leave or atleast the pharamacist before taking it.
Now many people are on medications for heart diseases, some of them include blood thinners, we have to be very careful in delcaring this to the doctor along with the dose to aviod major complications. Similary patients with chronic kidney or liver disease should highlight this so that the doctor can aviod medications that would further worsen it.
Look alike and Sound alike medicines: these are differtn group of drugs that have similar sounding names that cause confusion and mistakes while ordering over the phone or when we are in a hurry. So,Please check (TRIP-Nortriptyline,TRIZ-CETRIZINE) atleast once for the given name and the actual name.
ELDERLY PATIENTS have difficulty to read the very small letters, often we buy and give everything to them, they have to struggle to see the dates and names. They are sometimes embarrassed to disturb other family members. One can simply given then a magnifying glass that we all use in the school so that they can check the name or just separate out for morning,afternoon and evening. Their is also a weekly 'PILL BOX' that has multiple blocks with day and time written on it. (Mon-Sun, Morning-Night).
Quality of medicines are difficult to be assured, so choose a good regular pharmacy so that the pharmacist knows you and do not go for the cheaper option always as the quality and quantity actually present may not be what should be there.
The article is informative and awareness has been created. However though generally, the points given are good, there are certain contradictory situations when some of them should not be followed. For example, when a person is suffering from kidney problems or water retention, liquid consumption should be regulated and doctors advice is to be taken.
Some medications should not be abruptly stopped but should be tapered down. In case of any doubt that should be clarified with the treating doctor. There may be some medication -even the OTC medicines already using - which should be brought to the notice of the doctor.
Certain medicines cause acidity, gas or some side reactions. If such effects are felt, the doctor should be informed and he will take the necessary remedy for that. When the doctor says the medicine should be taken after food/ before food that should be compiled with. The regulations or moderation advice by the doctor should be followed sincerely for the medicines to be fully effective and to avoid delay in cure. Advice should be sought from the doctor in case of substitute medicines in the absence of originally prescribed medicines.
It is suggested to compare the doctor's prescription and the name of the medicine before consuming same. In case of doubt, the medicine should be shown to the doctor. We should not extend or shorten the period of medication by ourselves.