Medication adherence is all about making sure you take your medications as told by your doctor without missing any doses. It is important for all patients to make sure that they get the full benefit of their medications. If you miss your medication because you don’t want to take it or you simply forgot, you may not be getting the proper care for yourself and the medicines may seem as if they aren’t working. About 50% of patients with long term diseases do not take their medications as prescribed by their doctor. By not being adherent, this can lead to further complications, continued symptoms, or worsening of your disease state. Missing a dose is just one way that a patient can be considered non-adherent. Other ways are if you are taking your medications incorrectly, being late on your refills, or even stopping your medication early without talking to your doctor first. If you ever have questions about whether you are taking your medications appropriately, you can always call your doctor or your pharmacist with any questions!
Some of the most common ways to be considered not adherent, as mentioned above, can be solved in many ways!
1. Forgetting to take a dose or getting a refill: Some ways to remember to take your medications would be to use a pill box that you fill at the beginning of every week or by setting alarms on your phone for reminders.
2. Taking medication incorrectly: You can always speak with your pharmacist to make sure you are taking your medications correctly and as prescribed.
3. Stopping the medication too early without discussing this with the doctor: The misconception is that if you are feeling better, you must not need the rest of your medications. If you are feeling better and you feel like you don’t need your medications anymore then that means that your medicines are working for you! When you continue to take them, this keeps you at that healthy state!
Remember to always talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about your medicines. We are always here to help!
This article was written by student pharmacist Tammy Nguyen.