1. Not taking your medications as prescribed For many, especially the elderly, medication adherence and compliance is a real problem. Up to one-third of older people don't take their medications as directed. Sometimes it’s due to the cost of medication but most of the time it’s because they forget. What can we do to help? A pill box can really help out, especially ones that break your meds into safe manageable doses each day. Certain medications shouldn’t be taken together and pill boxes such as our clean, disposable pill box card is a great choice. You’ll also want one that you can leave out in full view all day to help remind you to take your medications. Our pill box card is bright and looks like a book so you’ll want to leave it out. Many times seniors can also forget whether they even took their prescribed dose, this can lead to either not taking the dose or taking the dose twice. A correctly filled pill box can fix this, with our pill box card the torn foil on the blister is a reminder as to whether the dose was taken or not. [youtube id=yO166WfUoGk?rel=0 width="600" height="338"] 2. Getting your prescriptions filled from different pharmacies If you’re having your prescriptions filled at several different pharmacies you can't be screened for drug interactions. If you use your HMO's pharmacy and also use its mail-order service, each may not have a list of the medications being filled by the other. If you need to use multiple pharmacies due to the convenience and/or for cost savings, make sure they each have a list of every medication you take. If you use several health care professionals such as your primary doctor, a heart doctor, a dermatologist, etc. they should all be asking you for a list of all medications you’re presently taking. If they don’t make sure you give them a list anyway, you must be proactive when it comes to your good health. 3. Mixing alcohol with your prescription drugs You can get an addiction effect by mixing alcohol with antianxiety and pain medications such as Xanax and Valium. Your driving response time will suffer as you’ll be drowsy, so don’t mix these together. In older adults especially, alcohol use may increase the risk for falls, serious injury, and disability related to balance problems. Alcohol use also may trigger or worsen certain medical conditions. When alcohol use is combined with multiple medications, it may magnify these problems. Older adults don't metabolize alcohol as quickly as younger adults do, so alcohol stays in their systems longer and has a greater potential to interact with medications. Even though most people over 65 drink less than the maximum recommended amount, this drinking is still considered harmful in over 50% of them, due to their general condition, medical problems and medications. 4. Leaving your doctor's office or hospital without enough information Make sure when you leave your doctor's office or hospital that you know the name of your prescribed medication and what it’s for. That you also know how many times a day you should take it and how you might react to that medication. Especially if it will interact with any of your other medications. Make sure you get all of this in written instructions to take with you. At home make sure to use a pill box such as our clean disposable pill box card to help you to take your medications correctly and as prescribed.
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[youtube id=Rze3hnYhp8Y?rel=0 width="600" height="338"] Poor medication adherence diminishes the health benefits of pharmacy medications. Elderly patients with coronary heart risk factors frequently require treatment using multiple medications. This places them at a high risk for medication non-adherence. A study was conducted to test the benefits of using multimed blister packaging to improve medication adherence and its associated effects on blood pressure (BP) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). The study was conducted at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from June 2004 to August 2006. It centered around 200 community-based patients aged 65 years or older taking at least 4 chronic medications. After a 2-month run-in phase (measurement of baseline adherence, BP, and LDL-C), patients entered a 6-month intervention phase (standardized medication education, regular follow-up by pharmacists, and medications dispensed multimed blister packaging). Following the intervention phase, patients were randomized to continued pharmacy care vs usual care for an additional 6 months. It’s Outcome Measures Primary end point of the observation phase was
change in the proportion of pills taken vs baseline; secondary end points were the associated changes in BP and LDL-C. Primary end point of the randomization phase was the between- group comparison of medication persistence. The Results for the 200 elderly patients (77.1% men; mean[SD] age, 78 [8.3] years), taking a mean (SD) of 9 (3) chronic medications were enrolled. Coronary risk factors included drug-treated hypertension in184 patients (91.5%) and drug-treated hyperlipidemia in162 (80.6%). Mean(SD) baseline medication adherence was 61.2% (13.5%). After 6 months of intervention, medication adherence increased to 96.9% (5.2%; P.001) and was associated with significant improvements in systolic BP (133.2 [14.9] to 129.9 [16.0]mm Hg; P=.02) and LDL-C (91.7 [26.1] to 86.8 [23.4] mg/dL; P=.001). The short version, medication adherence increased from 61.2% to 96.9%. Six months after randomization, the persistence of medication adherence decreased to 69.1% (16.4%) among those patients assigned to usual care, where as it was sustained at 95.5% (7.7%) in pharmacy care (P.001). This was associated with significant reductions in systolic BP in the pharmacy care group (−6.9 mm Hg; 95% CI, −10.7 to −3.1 mm Hg) vs the usual care group (−1.0mm Hg;95% CI, −5.9 to 3.9mm Hg; P=.04), but no significant between-group differences in LDL-C levels or reductions. The short version, for those patients that stopped using the blister packaging, medication adherence dropped to 69.1%. Those that continued with their medications in blister packaging sustained their medication adherence at 95.5%. The Conclusion. A pharmacy care program using multimed blister packaging led to increases in medication adherence, medication persistence, and clinically meaningful reductions in BP, whereas discontinuation of the program was associated with decreased medication adherence and persistence.
“Old people need a lot of pills.” One day, my son observed that his granddad needed a lot of pills. The observation might have been crude, but certainly was the right observation. In reality, we find that senior citizens take a lot of medication every day. These medications will be varied and could be difficult to keep track of. That is exactly why aging people possess a pillbox like the one on medicationpackagingsolutions.com where they keep their meds for a whole week in a systematic order.
More than the type of medication concerned, medicine interaction with the body is important. If you see your parent taking five or six pills at a time, the interaction of these medicines with the body might conflict with one another. Medicine if taken in a higher amount becomes an overdose and senior citizens more often find themselves with such a problem. They’ll be prescribed with many medicines from various places and at the end it might not have the desired effect in their treatment. Consuming alcohol along with the drugs can cause negative effects on the body.
It is your responsibility as a caregiver to ensure that your parent, be it mom or dad, does not consume drugs and alcohol together. Any drug related reaction can lead to hospitalization and could be even fatal.
When it comes to managing a parent’s medications, knowledge is the best. Being ignorant about all the medications can cause trouble. The pharmacist or the doctor is your go to experts in case you have any doubts over the medicines your parent is consuming. If you end up getting different prescriptions from different doctors, your parent’s body might not respond to the medicines. Medicine conflicting with other is no treatment. So make sure only one doctor is in charge of your parent’s health. Interact with your doctor to know why the medicines are actually prescribed and whether they would have any adverse effect on your parent.
A pharmacist can provide the same help as your doctor. A pharmacist is the one who is trained to understand the work of these drugs. Similarly, it is better to choose one pharmacist and stick with him. You can enquire all about the drugs your parent is consuming and also ask him for timely advices. A pharmacist will know exactly what these drugs will do to a person’s body and how the body might react to them.
The next important thing is to make sure your parents are having the right medicine at the right time. Taking medicines at the wrong time can increase the potential for medication problems. Use a pill box card accordingly so that there’s no confusion about when to have the medications. Keep it simple for your parents if they are taking the medications on their own.
Prepare a good and legible timetable for your parent. Place the medications in a pill box card, that way your parent can easily identify when to consume the medication. Keeping track of the expiry dates of the medications is also vital. Use online reorder services and pharmacies to save a lot of money. They can provide you with generic equivalent of the prescription drugs.
Generic drugs are not much different from their name brand successor. The drugs are carefully regulated in exactly the same way so that they can contain the same amount of active ingredient as well as be suitable in the way they are produced. They need to be just like the original.
The generic drug must be proven to be bioequivalent to the branded alternative i.e. releases the same amount of active ingredient over the same amount of time.
The differences are going to be in the presentation of the drug like a brand name drug may produce pills that have a nicer color or taste. However the generic version will usually contain a little more of the active ingredient.
There is little difference to the patient between the name brand and the generic. Both have to get through the same regulators and pass the same tests. Generics have a few advantages over the name brand pricier drugs.
The name brand is often the first of it’s type to be made and this is why the company spends a lot of money on making, testing and patenting the new drug and this is why they are more costly.
Generic drugs will have a patent once that has expired or in some cases are different enough from the original but still do the same type of job.