If you’ve never had to do it before, managing medication can be particularly overwhelming. When you have a handful of different pills in prescription bottles that all look the same, it can be difficult to simultaneously manage doses and correct pill intake, on a daily basis.
Medication management is enough to stress anyone out, but it absolutely doesn’t need to be that way. With certain tools helping you manage medication, including the professional advice of your psychiatrist, making sure you stay educated and in control of your medication has never been easier.
What is medication management?
Medication management is exactly what it sounds like – managing the medication you have been prescribed. It entails a comprehensive knowledge of the medications you’re taking, understanding what each medication is prescribed to treat, and the identifying imminent and potential side effects.
Not only does medication management entail properly understanding your prescriptions; it also means staying on top of when and how you need to take them each day, and for how long each prescription is designed to last. Knowing when you need to refill your prescription next is an incredibly important factor to be aware of, as skipping even one day can have unfortunate consequences.
How to manage medication
Believe it or not, many people face the challenge of managing their medication every day on their own. This being the case, there are dozens and dozens of various tips, tricks and techniques designed to ease the challenge of medication management and instead blend it seamlessly into your daily routine.
- Get a pill organizer – No matter how you need to keep track of your meds, you’re guaranteed to find a pill organizer that can help. Whether you want AM and PM slots for every day of the week, or you like to plan as far as a month ahead using a 30 compartment organizer, investing in one of these little guys can be a beneficial visual aid. It helps you know if you already took your morning meds, when you’re going to run out of Prescription A and reminds you to take your evening meds when the container’s lid is still clicked shut.
- Create a chart – You can draw it yourself to suit your personal needs, print out a template online or use a computerized spreadsheet to write out exactly when, how, how much and how often you need to take your medication. With this method, you can make notes for yourself reminding you to ‘reorder Pill A on Monday’ or ‘take Pill C only when needed’ or ‘ask doctor about eliminating Pill D during Thursday’s visit.’
- Make a list – Write out a list of all the pills you’re taking, when each needs to be taken, what dose has been prescribed, when you began and when you’ll run out. You can add and subtract prescriptions from the list as time goes on, helping you to keep track of the medications you are currently taking. You might want to keep a copy of the list handy for doctor’s appointments, too, as a quick reference guide.
- Get an app – There are tons of mobile apps created to help people manage their medications. If you’re tech savvy and are never far from your cell phone, this could be a simple, convenient option. You can set reminders to go off exactly when you need to take your medication, as well as notifications to refill your prescriptions.
- Make it routine – If you switch up when you take your prescription every day, you’re going to run the risk of forgetting when (and if) you took it. However, if you commit to taking your morning medications at 8:30 am., right before you leave for work, and your evening meds at 6:30 p.m. right after you finish dinner, it will become a habit ingrained in your mind. You’ll be less likely to forget – in fact, you’ll be more likely to remember since a crucial part of your routine will be missing from your day.
Never be afraid to ask questions
While you can educate yourself thoroughly on the varying prescriptions you take, no one will understand them better than your doctor and/or psychiatrist. And as every situation requiring medication is different, including your own, only your personal medical professionals will be able to offer you advice and recommendations based on your individual needs.
For this reason, if you ever have questions about a particular prescription, feel worse or no different after introducing a new one, feel like you no longer need one, or have any concerns at all, say something. After all, these medications are prescribed to help you improve your well-being, to help promote and make permanent your healing. If they don’t seem right for you, consult your doctor before making any changes without medical supervision.
If you ever have questions about medication management for behavioral healthcare, don’t know how to begin or aren’t having success with certain methods, reach out to Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare at 678-274-4936 today.