It is extremely important to take all medications as prescribed. Taking the right dosage at the right time of day and in the right manner is paramount, as deviating from your doctor’s prescription can worsen your condition or even result in death. Certain medications need to be taken with food, and others require you to avoid other compounds like grapefruit juice or charcoal tablets that can negate their effects. Patients who do not follow the instructions from their healthcare provider are at significantly higher risk of developing more serious problems down the road.
Why Patients Stop Taking Medicines
There are many reasons why a patient may stop taking medication. Unpleasant side effects, confusing directions, forgetfulness, or even the perception that the medicines aren’t working can cause a patient to forgo treatment. Some prescription medications are extremely expensive, and patients who cannot afford them will usually go without or take them less than necessary to make them last longer.
If you find yourself struggling to afford your prescriptions, we strongly recommend that you talk with your primary care physician for other alternatives. Some medications have generic companions, which can help to significantly reduce costs. There are also prescription programs for lower-income individuals to secure medication for certain conditions.
Overdose Information & Statistics
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, there were more than 93,000 reported drug overdose deaths in 2020. This number has been steadily increasing, quadrupling since the late 1990s. More than three-fourths of these overdose deaths have been contributed to opioids, a class of restricted-use drugs for pain relief that effectively block signals between the brain and the body.
This tragic story has been unfolding across the globe, and this epidemic has berated our population for over two decades since the introduction of dangerous opioids like oxycodone in the 1990s. While most medications are not as inherently dangerous as opioids, overdoses can happen with just about any kind of medication. That’s why it is so important to take your medicines as prescribed, every time.
How to Stick with My Prescription Regiment
It can be difficult to stick to a prescription regiment, and some people may have trouble keeping up. There are some tips and tricks you can do to help! Taking your medication at the same time and in the same place every day helps to establish a routine. We suggest using a weekly medicine calendar to organize your pills by day and time, as some organizers have sections for morning, lunch, evening, and/or nighttime. Refill your medicine calendar at the same time every week, like on Sunday nights.
A fun trick we’ve seen, patients with pets often give their dogs or cats a treat at pill time. You may forget sometimes, but your furry friend won’t! If you’re traveling, keep the container in your carry-on, as temperature fluctuations and humidity can cause pills to deteriorate or lose effectiveness. Always bring extra medicine in case of an emergency where you may not be able to return home immediately after your trip.
August 31st is National Overdose Awareness Day, shedding light on the American epidemic of drug overdoses. While certain medicines are more dangerous than others, you can overdose on almost every kind of medication available if you’ve taken enough to cause harm. If you or someone you love is having trouble with their medication or has been abusing prescription drugs, don’t wait. Talk with your friends and family about drug abuse and best practices when it comes to taking prescriptions. If you have any questions, you can visit the Food & Drug Administration’s website at www.fda.gov/drugs. You may also contact Rodger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.