Why is it important to get my medication right?
Taking medications correctly helps you get the most out of your medication regime and manage your disease conditions effectively. This improves your quality of life and allows you to continue doing the things you love to do.
Many factors affect the success of the treatment. One of the most important things is taking your medications as instructed by your doctor. This means the Right person taking the Right medications, in the Right amount, at the Right time, by the Right route (e.g. swallowing the tablets or applying the cream).
It is also important to monitor your health between regular check-ups with your doctor to make sure that any side effects, or issues with your medication dosages are discussed with your healthcare provider early. If left unsolved, these issues can lead to poor disease control, emergency department visits and even hospitalisations.
At the National Healthcare Group, our pharmacies aim to provide you with the right medications as well as thenecessary advice to make sure the medications are safe for you.
Test your knowledge below
on 4 common myths about medications.
"If I feel well, I can cut or stop my long term medications for that day."
Long term medications include those used to manage conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes .Some of these conditions may not show symptoms until the condition is severe or life-threatening. For example, a person may feel healthy even with high blood pressure, but if a major blood vessel bursts due to the high pressure, it can cause a stroke, coma or even death. Taking your long term medications as prescribed can prevent such dangerous events from happening and helps you to maintain your health and well-being and help to prevent hospitalisations.
Unlike short term medications like painkillers, these medications may not show an improvement in your condition quickly, but rather, help to control your condition and prevent other issues in the long run.
Do check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are unsure about your medication and how to take it.
"Cutting the tablets up Is Always A Safe Way To Save Money"
Do you know that some medications come in different strengths? Some people ask their doctors to prescribe a higher strength of their medications so that they can cut the tablets to save money. Although this is a smart way to save money, not all medications can be cut safely.
Some medications have special coatings to allow the medication to work for a longer period of time in your body or reduce the chances of side effects. This effect would be lost if you cut the tablet.
Some medications need to be absorbed in the intestines but may be destroyed by the stomach acid. In this case, the coatings help to protect the medications from the stomach acid and allow it to pass safely into the intestines, where it would then be absorbed. Cutting the tablet may caused it to lose its effectiveness.
In general, it is not advisable to cut medications without checking with your pharmacist if it is safe to do so.
"My doctor knows exactly what medications I'm taking."
If you are taking many different medications and supplements daily, and get them from different pharmacies or clinics, it can be difficult to keep track of them.
Having an updated medication list is a good way to allow both you and your healthcare providers to track your medications accurately and help you to remember which medications to take.
Other than a medication list, pharmacies also made available a variety of pill-boxes for sale which can help you manage your medications. The HealthHub mobile application has a medication reminder function and alarms that you can set to help you take your medications on time.
Below are some simple tips to keep track of your medications:
- Keep an updated medication and drug allergy list.
This is useful during emergencies and if you need to share your medication information with a new care provider. Find out how to maintain one here.
- For long-term usage of over-the-counter (OTC) medications or herbal supplements, consult your pharmacist or doctor to make sure that it is safe to take with your prescribed medications
Actively update your pharmacist or doctor on 3 important health points at every visit. See the Tell Me 3 points here. >> link to Tell Me 3 <<
"I should store all my medications in the fridge"
Most medications just require a cool, dry place for storage. It is only necessary for certain special medications to be refrigerated (e.g. Insulins, a medication used for diabetes). For these medications, it is good to make sure that the containers and blister packs are airtight. This prevents water condensation from affecting your medications when you take them out of the fridge.
Keep your medications out of reach of children and throw them away once expired.