More than half of the U.S. population takes at least one type of medication a day. However, according to the National Library of Medicine, nearly half of the people who live with a chronic disease or condition don’t take their medications as prescribed.
While prescription medications are sometimes necessary, it can be difficult to keep track of what you need to take and when. One way to alleviate confusion and ensure medication adherence is by creating and implementing a good medication management plan.
“When taking multiple medications, there is a chance that they can have harmful interactions with one another,” said Clint Williams, vice president of pharmacy and clinical operations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE). “Creating a medication management plan can help you stay organized, but more importantly, it’s a tool to keep you safe.”
1. Review your medication regimen
The first step to medication management is to review your medication regimen with your doctor or pharmacist. During the review, they will look at all the medications (and their doses) you’re taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and supplements to ensure their effectiveness.
A medication review also allows your doctor or pharmacist to identify and correct possible medication-related issues and possibly reduce the number of medications you need to take.
2. Use a daily pill organizer or ask your pharmacist about special packaging
A pill organizer is a simple and efficient way to keep your medication organized and can be very helpful if you take multiple types of medications each day. There are several different types of pill organizers on the market.
Almost all organizers have seven compartments to hold each day’s worth of medication. Some have multiple compartments per day if you need to take multiple medicines at different times of the day.
Additionally, many pharmacies now provide special packaging that helps customers identify what medications to take at what time. The packaging organizes all of the customer’s prescription medications together, so the customer doesn’t have to keep track of multiple pill bottles. Ask your pharmacist if special packaging is the right option for you.
3. Use a medication mobile app
If you use a smartphone, there are a wide variety of mobile apps that can help you take your medication on time and as directed. After the app is downloaded, it will ask you to fill out specific information about your prescriptions, like the dose, how often the medication needs to be taken and whether it’s taken with or without food. These mobile apps will also automatically set alarms, so you’re alerted when you need to take your medicine.
BCBSNE offers an app, powered by Wellframe, that includes medication management features. BCBSNE health coaches can help answer members’ questions and give advice regarding the importance of taking your medications. To learn more about Wellframe, visit NebraskaBlue.com.
4. Consider your fulfillment method
Picking up your prescriptions via the pharmacy drive-thru is a convenient way to get your medications. Another convenient way to make sure you get them is by using prescription mail order services. Consider the option that works best for you.
5. Look into auto-refilling a 90-day supply
If you can, set up your prescriptions to deliver a 90-day supply with automatic refills to help ensure that you don’t run out.
Ensuring adherence to medication can be daunting, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. Staying organized and coming up with a plan you can stick to can go a long way in making sure you’re taking your medication and staying well.
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