Pharmacy encourages chronic-disease patients to take their medication

To address the alarming rate of patients not taking their medication as prescribed, a pharmacy has suggested several ways to make it easier for patients to follow medication regimens.

FOR a journey towards better health, Dis-Chem’s pharmacy is encouraging chronic-disease patients to develop better habits when it comes to taking their daily medication as non-adherence to medication is highly problematic and can lead to one’s health worsening.

Pharmacy executive Zaheera Dindar said it is easy to forget to take a pill once in a while, but simply putting better adherence to your medication regime results in better health outcomes.

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According to Dindar, failing to take prescribed medicine may worsen your health condition and compromise your health significantly.

“According to research reported by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research in the US, the efficacy of medication may be reduced by as much as 50% if not taken as prescribed,” she said.

With this in mind, Dindar offers some tips that may improve adherence:

Same time, every day

It can be useful to take your medication at a specific time every day when you are performing another daily task, such as brushing your teeth. This ensures that it becomes part of your routine. Alternatively, set an alarm on your phone. Before choosing mealtime for your routine, check if your medication should be taken on a full or empty stomach.

Your healthcare professional knows best

Some patients find the drug regimens prescribed by their doctors too complex to follow, or they may believe that they no longer need to take the medication. Perhaps they have started feeling better (or felt no different when they started taking the medication), or they have experienced negative side effects that make them reluctant to continue. It may also be that they feel they weren’t involved sufficiently in the decision-making process, or the need for the medication wasn’t communicated adequately, or they may find it difficult to access the required drugs. Some patients have also cited fear of dependency as a reason for stopping their medication too soon. In any of these circumstances, discuss your concerns with your pharmacist.

Understand the what-if

Failing to take your medication as prescribed can have far-reaching consequences. Often, a daily pill is all it takes to prevent a condition from progressing or to stop a potentially life-threatening complication from developing – which may require further treatment or even hospitalisation. Even if you don’t reach a point where lack of adherence affects morbidity and mortality, your quality of life and overall well-being are likely to be impacted, and you’ll probably end up paying more for additional treatment required.

Travel tips

When travelling, make sure to bring enough of your medication, plus a few days extra, in case your return is delayed. If you’re flying, keep your medication in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost.

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