RX Corner: Managing your meds

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When it comes to medication use, seniors take more prescription and over-the-counter drugs than any other age group. The average American senior takes five or more prescription medications daily, and some may find managing their medications difficult for numerous reasons, aside from memory.

Having multiple healthcare providers can be problematic because each may not be aware of the other doctors have prescribed. This can lead to dangerous drug interactions.

In addition, some of the medications’ packaging is difficult to read and open, which can deter proper usage. To help manage medication properly, try these tips:

• Make a list of every medication you take, what it’s for, and what the pill looks like.

• Make a checklist of all your medications. Every time you take it, note the date, time and dosage.

• Ask your pharmacist to use easy-to-open containers with large-print labels.

• When you go to the doctor, take your list of prescriptions with you, even if it’s not your first visit.

• Work with your doctors to see if you can reduce the number of pills you take by consolidating medicines. Some prescription drugs combine multiple types of medicine into a single pill.

• Keep all your prescriptions with one pharmacy and get to know the pharmacists who work there. They may be able to spot potential drug interactions.

• Use technology to help. Set an alarm on your cellphone or download an event reminder app on your smartphone to help you remember when it’s time to take your medicine. For your health and peace of mind, it’s worth it to find the best way to
manage your medication.

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