Taking medications as directed by your doctor or pharmacist when treating a chronic condition or recovering from an illness is crucial. Not taking your medicines as directed could worsen your condition and result in hospitalization or even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-adherence accounts for 30 to 50 percent of treatment failures for chronic diseases and 125,000 fatalities each year in the US.
It’s critical to realize that taking medications as prescribed maximizes their effectiveness. You may not experience the full benefits of the medicine if you skip doses or stop taking it too soon. For instance, people taking statins (medications to decrease cholesterol) have a 25 percent increased chance of dying if they cease their treatment within a year. However, skipping even one dose of some medications, such as blood thinners or thyroid medications, could have a significant negative effect. Even a few missed doses of some drugs, such as those used to treat depression, can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
One of the biggest challenges people face with medication adherence is not remembering to take their medication at the right time. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to stay on track. Both iPhone and Android have built-in and third-party apps that can remind you daily to take your medication. Some apps even have features that allow you to scan barcodes on your medication bottles to ensure you’re taking the correct medication.
Another challenge is the side effects that can occur with certain medications. It may be tempting to skip doses or stop taking the medication entirely due to these negative effects. You should notify your doctor or pharmacist if you suffer any negative effects. They can change the dosage or suggest a different medication that will be more effective for you.
In addition to medication reminders and communication with your healthcare provider, there are other steps you can take to improve adherence. One of the simplest is to incorporate medication taking into your daily routine. Take your medication at the same time each day, such as with breakfast or before bed. You can also use pill organizers to help keep track of which medications you’ve taken each day.
Taking your medication as directed is crucial for managing your health and ensuring the best possible outcome. If you need more information or assistance with your prescription medications, don’t forget to give our Downtown Toronto compounding pharmacy a call at 416 923 7770