Prescription medications are a huge part of health care in the United States.
In my opinion medications are widely overused. Polypharmacy unnecessarily costs America millions of dollars and will continue to do so as long as:
a. the federal government holds hands with drug companies
b. people want a quick fix answer instead of looking to manage their health with lifestyle changes.
If you do take prescription medications you should know your medications.
You are accountable for what you are putting in your body and why.
Everyone taking prescription medications should keep a list including the following:
- Date the medication was started
- Reason for taking the medication
- Dose of the medication
- How often medication is to be taken
- How medication is taken
Medications have a trade name given to them by the manufacturer and a generic name. Learn and know both.
Medications often have possible common side effects to be aware of as well as possible less common but more severe side effects. Review both.
Medications often come with guidance on the best way to take it. Such as the time of day, with or without meals, etc. Review and follow any guidance provided by pharmacy for each medication taken.
You are ultimately responsible for what you put in your body – Not your doctor, Not your nurse, Not your pharmacist.
I realize that not everyone has the same mental capacity. That is why it is important to create an environment that supports and protects those that have a lesser ability to manage their medications. Forgetfulness & confusion, finances, access, knowledge, and side effects can all be barriers to managing medicines effectively. Work with your doctor and other health care providers to help overcome any of these challenges.
There are many resources available, such as the one below, to help organize your medications or type “medication tracker pdf” into Google.com and you will surely find one that works for you.
My Medicine Record Department of Health and Human Services – Food and Drug Administration