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Tips for Managing Medications

When it comes to prescription medications, or any medication, in fact, remembering what to take and when can become difficult as you get older. Particularly if you’re taking multiple pills throughout the day. Forgetting to take medication, and even doubling up by mistake can cause harmful side effects, which is why managing medication wisely is important.

If you’re unable to keep on top of your current medication or know that you’ll soon be taking more pills than you can keep track of, remember these tips to ensure you manage your medication correctly and safely. If you feel these tips might not stick, enlist the help of an aged care professional to get your management system on track.

Knowing What You’re Taking and Why

Are you about to start a new course of medication? Or have you taken a set of pills for so long that you can’t remember what their purpose is? If so, it’s time to take a step back and look at what you’re taking and why. Whether it involves speaking to your doctor, or pharmacist, take some time to go over what you’re taking on a daily or weekly basis, what it looks like, and what you take it for. Additionally, establish which medications get taken with food and which medications shouldn’t be taken simultaneously. Understanding your medication is a key part of remembering to take them, and it doesn’t become a grudge task.

Purchase a Dispenser

A dispenser/organiser is a simple and budget-friendly way to organize your pills and make the daily routine simpler. Often found at local pharmacies, a pill dispenser allows you to allocate your pills into sections labelled according to days of the week. Most importantly, it removes the possibility of taking too many pills at once. This process will get done on a weekly basis, but once set up, will make your life a lot easier. If you struggle to or are unable to sort your medications into the dispenser, some pharmacists will separate your medications into a pack/sachets for certain times and days, for example, a webster pack (sealed and labelled packaging). Alternatively, via a home care package, a nurse could visit your home on a regular basis to administer your medications.

Set a Schedule

While the pill dispenser will help with setting a schedule, it won’t help you remember what time of day to take your medication, and whether you take them with or without food. Setting a schedule is both personal and contextual. You could take your medication at night, in the morning, or have pills to take throughout the day. Your schedule should be set to remind you what you take and when. Whether it’s a written note on your fridge door, an alarm clock on your mantelpiece, or a reminder on your phone, set up a reminder to suit your needs.

Storage is Key

Medication management doesn’t only include the physical intake of daily pills, how many, and when. It’s also how and where they’re kept. Pills should be kept in both a cool and dry area, away from heat and moisture. Why? According to NPS Medicine Wise, heat and humidity can change the effectiveness of certain ingredients. Therefore, a cupboard away from direct sunlight and the reach of children is a good spot. However, some medications are known to require cooler temperatures such as a fridge. So, it’s always wise to speak to your doctor during the prescription process. Ask them about the best place to store the medication you’re prescribed.

Managing your medication is a process to always be on top of, particularly as your medical requirements change. If you’re unsure of how best to manage your current or new medication, speak to a registered professional. They’ll ensure you’re on the right path. Once you’re on the right track you can begin setting up a management process, from dispensing and scheduling, to storage.

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