If you or someone in your household has been diagnosed with a medical condition that requires them to take a lot of various medications, you may find it difficult to keep track of it all. When a lot of different medications are taken, it's crucially important to keep strict tabs on each medication and take them as directed so they don't get mixed up and cause a serious health problem or overdose. Here are a few things you can do to keep track of all the medications and when to take them.
Get All the Prescriptions Filled At One Pharmacy
It's important to have all of your prescriptions filled at one pharmacy instead of using different ones. The main reason for this is so your pharmacist knows exactly what you have been prescribed so they can determine whether or not there are any dangerous combinations or if any are contraindicated for your health.
For example, taking carbazepine and gabapentin together can cause extreme dizziness and impaired motor coordination due to the gabapentin causing the carbazepine to remain in the blood system longer. A pharmacist can clarify these types of issues or contraindications of medications with diagnosed disorders or diseases through your prescribing physician.
Write It Down in a Log
Write down all the medications in a log. Include the name of the medication, as well as the dosage, how often you need to take it and when, and if you need to take it with food, milk, water, or on an empty stomach. With all this information listed on a sheet, you can then write down a schedule and develop routines that will help you adjust to developing the habits necessary to take the medications as prescribed.
If you have difficulty figuring out a suitable schedule, your pharmacist will be more than willing to help you. Doing this can be particularly helpful when you need to take some medication on an empty stomach and others with food. Seeing this information written down in the order in which you will take the medication will help you determine whether or not you will need help in the form of the various types of pillbox storage containers and alarms that are available.
Purchase Helpful Items
To help you keep track of the various pills, tablets, and capsules, purchase a pillbox storage container. There are many different sizes available to choose from. Select one that aligns with your scheduled dosages that you determined in your medication log. If you work outside of the home and need to take the pillbox storage container with you, make sure the lids on the compartments close firmly and will not become dislodged during transport.
You can use an old-fashioned alarm clock, a kitchen timer, a clock app on your cell phone, or an app specifically designed to tell you when it's time to take your medication. Alternatively, you can purchase a pillbox storage container that has an alarm incorporated into the design.
There are also timers that are designed as bottle caps, which locks and unlocks the bottle so you don't accidentally take the medication too soon. Some of these cap alarms can also notify a caregiver or your physician if you miss a dose, which is helpful if you have medication that is crucial to take and could cause you to become incapacitated if you do not take it within the prescribed time.
You can purchase the containers, caps, and alarms at your pharmacy. Alternatively, you can download an alert app on your cell phone that will alert your caregiver or physician if you miss recording a dosage in the app within a self-specified amount of time. Speak with your pharmacist for more information regarding various methods and devices that may help you keep track of your medications.