April Health Month: Medications
Take Your Meds the Right Way
If you're an adult 55 years of age or older, there's a good chance you take at least one medication. In fact, nearly one-third of American adults take five or more medications on a regular basis. * But are you dosing the right way? Numbers prove that many people don't take their medications with the correct timing, dosage and frequency, which can cause serious health risks. In addition, some medications can be harmful when mixed with others.
82% of American adults take at least one medication.*
Don't Mix it Up. Get the Facts.
One of the most common mistakes you can make if you're taking more than one medication is negatively mixing those medications with one another. However, reducing your risk is simply a matter of using common sense and asking your doctor or pharmacist the right questions. Signs of medication-related problems are:
- Mental status changes such as agitation, manic behavior, any change in mood or confusion.
- Not eating.
- Being tired or sluggish or not sleeping.
Follow the Instructions
When it comes to medications, it's important to follow all instructions. This is called medication adherence and compliance. Your doctor provides these instructions so that the medications can work at their optimal level, and they help avoid any adverse effects.
But following instructions isn't the only challenge. Prescriptions are never even filled 20-30% of the time, and rates of adherence drop significantly after six months. Not taking your medications at all is as risky as taking them the wrong way.
Knowledge is the Best Medication
More than two-thirds of seniors age 65 or older have two or more chronic conditions that require medication. There are simple things you can do to ensure that you take your medications correctly.
- Know your medication names and what they treat.
- Understand proper dosage, timing and frequency.
- Be aware of food and drink requirements.
- Ask about any side effects and what to do if you experience them.
As your healthcare partner for life, our doctors choose generic medication options to make your healthcare easy and affordable.
When it comes to your health, taking the right medications in the right amount at the right time can give you the right result. One of the most effective ways to improve medication adherence is by using a mail-order pharmacy. It's easy to set up, and you can get your medications on time, keep up with renewals and ensure that you dose appropriately. It's like your own personal pharmacist in your mailbox.
If you'd like to learn more about keeping good medication adherence and compliance, visit cdc.gov or talk with your doctor during your next visit.