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Managing your health includes managing your medications

by on January 25, 2016
Smart phone apps like MyMedSchedule, shown above, can help organize medications and provide reminders when to take them.

Taking your medications as directed and prescribed by a doctor can help you lead a healthier life. This is especially important for patients with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Unfortunately, data reveals that 25 percent of all prescribed medications are not even filled. In addition, of those patients who do fill their prescriptions, half of them do not take the medications.

Here are some tips to reduce your chance of putting your present or future health at risk due to not taking a medication as directed.

  • Talk to a pharmacist about any fear of unintended side effects or concerns you may have about the medication. Employees with AEP-sponsored medical coverage have access to pharmacists at Express Scripts by calling 1-800-922-1557. Some Express Scripts pharmacists are specifically trained to help with medications related to conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
  • If cost is a concern, be an informed and educated consumer. Prior to filling your prescription, shop around. Use the Health Navigator tool to compare pricing. You may also ask your doctor if he or she has any samples.
  • Always get a good understanding from your doctor of the health need for the medication, and the negative implications of non-adherence.
  • Find the best way for you to get your medications organized. If forgetfulness is a barrier to your management of medications, help from an app might be beneficial to you. A number of smart phone apps provide ways to remember to take the right dose at the right time, to keep track of all medications taken and much more, in a secure and mobile package. Find what works for you.
  • Take medication as prescribed — the full amount for the entire length of time. Always remember that just because your symptoms are gone, that does not mean that the medication is no longer needed.

This short video by the National Stroke Association  also provides suggestions about how to take your medications correctly, how to reduce the cost, and tips for improving communications with your health care professionals.

From → Wellness

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