Take the stress out of medication management
According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 70% of Americans take at least 1 medicine. As many as half take more than 1, and more than 40% take 5 or more a day.1
It can be hard to keep track of each medicine. The good news is there are tips and tricks to help you stay on top of your medication needs and relieve some of the stress.
1 source, less worry
John Hopkins Medicine2 and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan3 recommend filling all your prescriptions at 1 pharmacy as the top priority in managing your medicines. Juggling multiple prescriptions from different doctors and pharmacies can cause confusion, with the risk of pharmacists not knowing about possible drug-to-drug interactions. Having all your prescriptions at 1 pharmacy can help address any possible interactions between drugs. Your pharmacist can provide details and answer questions about your prescriptions and drug interactions.
Filling all your prescriptions at 1 pharmacy also allows you to refill them at the same time. The pharmacy can call you when it’s time to refill, so you can pick up or get your medicine mailed to you in the same day. This will help you stay on track with your medicines and remember to take them.
Setting up reminders on your phone or through an app like CareZone™ is another great way to stay on track with your medicines. Find out what kind of reminder system works best for your lifestyle. Here are some suggestions:
- Pillbox: If you take medicine at different times of the day or different medicine on different days, a pillbox can help you get organized. Using a pillbox that has separate compartments for each day and time of day may help relieve some stress.
- Notifications: Sometimes, the day can get away from you. Set up s on your phone or use a service that sends reminders by text, email or phone that will help notify you when a dose is needed.
- Sticky notes: If technology is not a part of your everyday life, set up physical reminders like sticky notes or notepads where you will regularly see them.
Make sure your refill dates are noted on your calendar or in another reminder system. This will help you fill the prescription when needed and not miss a dose. Opting in to automatic refills or filling your prescription through a mail-delivery pharmacy, like Humana Pharmacy®, can help keep you on track and take the worry out of refills. You won’t need to go to a pharmacy and can get your medicines mailed to your home. Most medicines come in a 90-day supply.
Note: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services does not currently allow automatic refills for Medicare members.
Talk to your provider
Set up annual appointments with your provider to review your list of medicines and supplements. It might be necessary to update the dosage or double-check if there are any possible risks of interactions. Some people opt for the brown bag method and take all the prescriptions they use to their medical provider’s office to review. There are easier methods, however. Downloading the CareZone app will keep your medication list handy on your phone without the need to remember anything for your appointment. It can also be useful to help monitor your health by tracking your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.
- “Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center Find,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed March 25, 2019, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nearly-7-in-10-americans-take-prescription-drugs-mayo-clinic-olmsted-medical-center-find/.
- “Help for Managing Multiple Medications,” Johns Hopkins Medicine, last accessed March 25, 2019, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/caregiver_resources/help-for-managing-multiple-medications.
- “8 Tips for Managing Multiple Medications,” Kaiser Permanente, last accessed March 25, 2019, https://wa-health.kaiserpermanente.org/managing-multiple-medications/.