Supporting Medication Regimes

If Mary Poppins was right, all we need is a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down!

If only it were so simple, Mary.

The truth is that maintaining a regular medication routine can be a real challenge, and there are some valid reasons why. The World Health Organisation thinks that around half of us don’t take our medication as we should. If this is something you struggle with, the good news is there are some great steps you can take to help your future self! But first, let’s have a look at why a consistent medication regime is important.

What’s all the fuss about? Making a case for sticking to a stricter schedule..

Talk of ‘stricter schedules’ doesn’t sound very appealing, but the potential consequences of not taking medications as recommended can be serious. Irregular timing and dosage can render the drug you’re taking useless, leaving you open to regression or deterioration, which may in turn require more or stronger medications to manage. You are also more likely to become affected by other diseases and illnesses, and the effects of the fluctuating medications can ultimately end in severe illness and death. We can play it down and act like it’s not a big deal, but the reality is, it is a big deal.

Sticking to the recommendations that come from your prescriber or pharmacist is a big step towards your safe and effective treatment. It may require some planning, but it’s worth the effort, because the stakes are so high.

Planning for medication routine success.

The first step to addressing the problem, is to figure out what the problem is. Why don’t you always take your medication as you should? There are a few common reasons – see if one of these is yours.

“I just forget sometimes”

By far the most common reason, forgetfulness is understandable in the complex balancing act of our lives today! The great thing about this is that you’re not alone. There are so many great articles with tips for remembering, as well as amazing apps like MedicineWise and Medisafe you can download to keep on track of your regime.

“I have so many medications, it’s confusing and hard to remember”

Multiple regular medication users have the hardest job staying on top of their regime and are the highest risk group for something going wrong. There is a government funded project designed to support multiple medication users with some excellent support resources  https://www.nps.org.au/living-with-multiple-medicines. Downloading the NPS MedicineWise app is a great start to making your regime manageable, and consider using a pill box or speaking to your pharmacist about pre-packaging them for you.

“I don’t like the side effects” or “I don’t think I need to be taking it”

These are valid reasons for not wanting to take your medication, and it’s really important that they are addressed. Visit your GP or other prescriber ASAP, and clearly tell them your concerns. You, your GP and your pharmacist are a team, all working together to try to find the care solution that works for you. Don’t be tempted to make changes to your medications on your own – their job is to work with you and support you.

https://youtu.be/amlTDRwbrXE (Tips for good medication management)

Resolving to do it well.

Your medication is meant to work for you, and if you’re not taking it properly, it won’t work properly. Making an effort to follow the correct procedure is an act of self-care, prioritising yourself and your health. Make a positive change today.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23229971 https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/national-medicines-policy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068890/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6045499/

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