Time For Your Medication Review
The average American’s medicine cabinet contains various prescriptions and supplements for different ailments and conditions. These drugs help in the short term. But over time, multiple medications may do more harm than good, such as unwanted side effects. From time to time, a doctor may request a medication review. This assessment looks at all of a patient’s current prescriptions to ensure the medication is valid and effective.
Let’s look it over
Medication reviews are comprehensive checks performed by a doctor or pharmacist. The patient will visit the provider with all prescriptions and supplements. From there, the reviewer takes several steps.
- The reviewer will ensure the medication is still necessary and identify harmful combinations.
- Reviews also give the medical provider the chance to update prescriptions or remove discontinued drugs.
- Best of all, the patient gets an opportunity to discuss any medication challenges. For example, the patient may struggle to take a particular drug or have adverse side effects.
Medical reviews can reduce patient expenses and even save the lives of older patients. Here are 3 questions to ask during the review to get the most out of the interaction.
1. How long should I take a supplement?
Supplements help boost energy and fight certain illnesses. However, the most effective use of supplements is to correct nutritional deficiencies missing in the diet. Nutritional deficiencies vary from patient to patient. Some patients can resolve in a few weeks, while others can need several months. On average, doctors recommend using a supplement for 6 months consistently for the best results. After this time, the patient should get re-tested for the deficiency. If the condition improves, a healthy diet should be able to maintain nutrient levels.
2. What should I do about my side effects?
Sometimes, medications and supplements can provide a host of unwanted side effects. These side effects can deter patients from taking medication on time. The doctor can suggest a different medication to see if the patient has the same reaction. In some cases, a reduced dosage may be enough to reduce side effects while still treating the condition. Compounding medication can also remove ingredients with unwanted side effects.
3. Is there anything I can do to remember to take my medicine?
Adherence is the biggest challenge for patients with multiple medications. For a busy day, prescriptions can slip through the cracks. Inconsistency leads to more health problems and eventually a poor quality of life. The medical provider can recommend compounding, the process of combining multiple medications into one easy-to-use form. Taking one pill or liquid instead of several drugs improves adherence. To remember taking the medication, link the practice to an existing habit like showering or brushing the teeth.
Get your meds up-to-date
A medication review ensures patients are on the right track and are getting the most out of the prescriptions and supplements. Doctors can make the right changes, and patients can ask any burning questions. Because of the review, patients may be able to discontinue supplements that are no longer necessary. Gather the drugs, ointments, and supplements in the medicine cabinet to prepare for the review.