Importance of Medication Compliance : Following instructions often feels more like a set of suggestions than rules. It doesn’t help that many of the things you were told as a kid turned out not to be true later in life. No, you don’t have to wait 20 minutes after food before getting in the pool and you’re more likely to get smile lines than frown lines.
Sticking closely to rules when it comes to medication is a different matter. The importance of medication compliance goes beyond suggestion and passed down proverbs.
When medication is not taken at the right time, in the right dose, and with the right combination of food and water consequences ensue. Some of these consequences you won’t notice right away and others will have an immediate impact.
Read on to learn about why you need to comply with medication instructions.
Threefold Importance of Medication Compliance
When you fail to take your prescribed medication you create a host of problems for yourself and the medical community. Few medical decisions are ever truly personal as the financial and health impacts of your own life roll-over into the communities and people around you.
Not following doctors’ orders can make your condition worse, make you more contagious to others, or cause complications that cost you time and money.
Consider these three major issues with failing to comply with medication instructions provided by your doctor and pharmacist.
One of the instructions you find a lot of people struggle with is recommendations on food or drink along with the medicine. Many people take their medications first thing in the morning and then forget to eat on their way to work. Do this a few times with no sort of stomach ache or nausea and it’s easy to think the food and drink rules don’t mean anything.
These rules aren’t about how you feel after taking medications, it’s about what helps the medication to be absorbed by your body at a particular rate.
When you don’t take specified medication on a full stomach, your body may pass the medicine before it breaks down. This makes for expensive urine that leaves your condition untreated.
Taking medicine with a full glass of water follows the same reasoning. It isn’t about swallowing, it is about reducing stomach acid enough that the medicine gets absorbed rather than dissolved.
When you stop taking medicine after a few days because you feel better, you create a big problem with resistance. It’s easy to feel like the medication has done its job when you stop having the symptoms that sent you to the doctor in the first place. However, not everything that you were combating with the medication is gone.
Studies show that failure to complete antibiotic cycles, in particular, leads to the rise of antibiotic-resistant ‘super-bugs’.
Basically, the germs that survive the first wave of medicine are smaller in number but because they survive, they adapt.
For chronic illnesses, taking the recommended dosage for the set amount of time prevents receptors from growing reliant on the medication only to lose it. When this happens, your body can forget how to manufacture its own supplies, leading to a crash, not unlike withdrawal when you resume a needed treatment.
The prescription you are given takes into account numerous vital pieces of information for a proper outcome. Medications don’t work on everyone the same way, so your doctor may start you by taking medicine as needed to create a tolerance metric.
In other instances, it takes time, sometimes weeks, for a medication to build up in your body to start providing an expected result. The timing of food and sleep also affects how your body processes and utilizes medicine.
For a drug to be effective, it needs to be used regularly within a window of time to keep the dosage active in your system the same. When timetables are not kept, the amounts get out of control and you reduce the usefulness of the medication.
Worse, too many doses too close together can stress your liver and kidneys in a way that the original timetable would avoid.
Ways to Increase Compliance
The previous list isn’t exhaustive of the dangers of not complying with medication instructions but it covers the bases. Many people fail to comply by accidents and poor planning rather than outright ignorance.
One major reason people fail to comply with medication instructions is that they simply can’t afford the full dosage they need on a recurring basis. It’s important to find alternative pricing whenever you can. You can visit this website to check prices for your vital medications.
Consider the following to keep yourself on top of your daily medication use.
- Take medications on schedule
- Make that schedule along with other routines
- Keep a pill container to put doses together each week
- Get a pill container with a built-in timer to alert you about doses
- Always travel with your pill container and a few extras in case of delays
- Keep your medication with you on a trip, not in a stowed bag to not lose it
- Get refills a few days before you are empty to avoid lags in fulfillment at the pharmacy
Always be ready and willing to contact your doctor or pharmacist with follow up questions and concerns. The best way to comply with your medication instructions is to be as informed as possible.
Ultimately, it is your choice how you handle your health. The reasons stated should be enough to get you on board with the importance of medication compliance.
Like any healthy choice, the right thing to do often feels like a chore and more pain than its worse. It’s true for exercise and eating right, why wouldn’t it apply to how and when you take medication?
Stay on the right track by making yourself a priority. Come back here anytime for more health and lifestyle content.
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