Whether you are taking your medication for long-term or short-term medical conditions, taking the medicines as prescribed is important. When it comes to your prescription medicines, you must take them as written on the label. By not following your doctor’s instructions, you are contributing to worsening your symptoms and failure of treatment.
While it’s common to skip a dose, intentionally ignoring the direction can put your health and wellbeing at real risk. So if you think that there is no harm in tinkering with your meds, think again.
To make sure that you are getting effective treatment, it helps to educate yourself and understand your medication. Read on to learn about the most common mistakes people make with their prescribed medicines and must be avoided.
Taking medicines at the wrong time
When a doctor instructs you to take a medicine in the morning or at bedtime, there is a reason behind the same. Timing plays a major role in the effectiveness and safety of a medication. For instance, the doctor may have instructed you to take your hypertension med in the morning, and the reason behind that is taking them at night could result in a drop in blood pressure that may be too low. Similarly, medicines for hypothyroidism are instructed to be taken early in the morning for better absorption.
Therefore when your doctor instructs you to take your prescribed medicine at a specific time of the day, consider that as a rule and not a piece of advice.
Combining your medicines with the wrong foods
Some medicines and food don’t mix. Most people take their medicines along with food to lessen the impact on the stomach. Although some medicines are taken with a meal, some foods can cause reactions with meds in harmless ways.
Combining alcohol with most medicines is generally not recommended. Above all, mixing alcohol with certain anti-depressants, antibiotics, or pain relaxant meds can cause severe side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, liver toxicity, and severe vomiting.
Besides, Grapefruit must not be combined with meds as it can cause too little or too much drug to get into your bloodstream. Drinking a lot of its juice gets accumulated in the system, which can adversely affect your health when combined with some meds. So always ask your doctor what type of food matters with your medicines and follow the instructions.
Missing your dose, quitting medication without running by the doctor, or self-adjusting your dose is quite common, especially among those who take medicines for long-term or chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and others. Many people take medicine every other day or reduce their dose just because they assume that the dosage is too high or too expensive.
Undoubtedly, it is a bad idea. The efficacy of the medicines depends on the maintenance of a steady level in the bloodstream. Sometimes people have some negative impacts of the meds, or it doesn’t suit them. Instead of going to the doctor and ask to change the prescription, they stop taking medication. So you must consult your doctor to get a different better that fits you better. Besides, if you find the cost of medicines too high, ask your doctor if the generic is available.
Taking prescription meds with certain OTC drugs or supplements
You may think the over-the-counter medicines are safe to take regardless of anything. However, the fact is it can interact negatively with your prescription medication. The OTC and prescription medication are for different conditions, but they might have the same ingredients, which can result in an overdose.
For instance, OTC flu drugs and prescription pain killers contain the same active ingredient, acetaminophen. Overdose of that can cause liver damage.
Similarly, taking some supplements with prescription meds can increase the risk of side effects or lessen the drug’s effect. For instance, mixing heartburn medicines with vitamins can result in the ineffectiveness of the drug as the absorption will be affected.
Thus, always ask your pharmacist or doctor before taking any medicine/s with supplement/s to avoid inefficacy and harmful reactions.
Changing pharmacies to get your prescriptions
It may feel convenient to have some prescriptions at a local pharmacy near your home and others at a different drugstore by your office. However, getting meds from different businesses prevents your pharmacists from understanding your dose and flag potential problems.
Try and stick to the same pharmacy and get your prescriptions filled from them. Today, you can also sign up on online pharmacy stores that deliver your medicines at your doorstep, freeing you from the stress of store in the first place. Besides, they have options for automatic refills, so no need to worry about forgetting medicines anymore.
Making mistakes while taking your medication is quite common. But being common doesn’t make it seem fine. It can lead to severe consequences of treatment failure, ineffectiveness, or extreme side effects, which can land you in ER. So, avoid the mistakes mentioned above and take care of your meds. You can sign up on Medomand, an online pharmacy service that delivers your prescription and non-prescription meds at your home.