“Pills, pills, and more pills,” moans an elderly home-bound patient. “What good do these do? I don’t feel any different or any better.” Taking meds is more than just swallowing pills as directed; it involves getting prescriptions filled, taking the medications on time, and understanding the directions. Taking prescriptions improperly can interfere with the treatment of diseases and chronic conditions. This irresponsible act can lead to medical complications and lower your quality of life.
Even when you feel better, continue taking the full course of a medication. This is particularly important with any type of antibiotic. If you quit taking the proper dosages of an antibiotic before the entire prescribed amount is complete, you may retain a small colony of bacteria in your system. These left over bacteria will begin to grow, and a new type of resilient bacteria may develop in your body. General rules for taking medications include taking the prescribed course until all pills are gone, not sharing your medications with anyone else, and not saving medications to use at a later time.
Examples of a course of medication that needs to be taken precisely are the prescribed medications for patients infected with HIV/AIDS. These prescribed medications must be taken at a different time every day and you must work through the awful side effects. As with other medications, even if you feel better do not neglect to take the recommended dosages. Avoiding dosages will cause drug-resistant strains of HIV that will lessen your treatment options.
As in the case of the elderly lady who did not want to take any more pills, the heart condition she was being treated for depended on the proper prescriptions at the proper times. If she were to stop these prescription medications, her heart would be severely damaged and possibly cease functioning.
There are tips and tricks you can use to make sure you take your entire schedule of medications. First understand how long you need to take the medications and make sure that you empty the bottle. Second, talk to your physician about refills, third set daily routines to take prescription medications. Use daily dosing containers; these will show you how many medications to take and when to take them. If you are computer savvy, use a spreadsheet as a dosing schedule, and tape it inside your medicine cabinet where you will see it every day. It is important that you follow prescription directions to the letter. Do not leave your health to chance; take your prescribed medications as directed.
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