Many seniors become overwhelmed with the job of managing prescription drugs. Some studies say that the average older adult takes up to five or more medications a day in addition to over-the-counter medications. Here are some ideas to help you manage your medication use:
Keep Records of Your Prescription Medications
It’s very important that you keep precise records of every medication you take, and that you review these records regularly with your physician. You should keep track of:
- What medication you are taking
- The dosage- that is how much you take and how often
- Why you are taking it
- The doctor who prescribed it
When You Take Medication
As you take your prescriptions, be sure you are aware of what you are doing.
- Always check the labels to confirm you are taking the right prescription. If you can’t read them clearly have a magnifying glass or other reading lenses handy, or ask the pharmacist if they can print you larger labels. Ask your doctor about anything you don’t understand on the labels.
- Be aware of possible side effects- watch for social and physical changes.
- Develop a routine. Take your medication exactly when and how you are supposed to. Don’t change the dosage without consulting your doctor.
- If you sometimes forget whether or not you have taken your medication, keep a chart nearby, and tic it when you’ve taken each dose.
- Never share your prescription medication with anyone else.
Other Tips for Managing Your Prescription Medications
- Always fill your prescriptions at the same pharmacy. That way, your pharmacist can track all of your medications and watch for potential drug interactions.
- Regularly check the expiration date of all medicines.
- Store medication in original containers and do not mix different medications together in one container.
- Store medications in a safe place, not in a bathroom cabinet, as the heat and humidity are not good for them. A closet or bedroom cabinet would be better.
- If you are taking prescription medication, ask your doctor before adding any non-prescription medication, to be sure there would be no adverse interaction.
- Only take what you need; stop taking what is no longer necessary. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure.
Do you have the right Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for you? Are your current prescriptions covered? We’ve got a great online plan comparison tool that allows you to search for plans in your area based on your specific prescription drug care needs. You can also browse plans by state in our online PDP catalog.