• SecondsCount Manage Your Meds Checklist

     
     
     
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    4/23/2012

    Mix and match the following suggestions to help you successfully manage your medications:

    • Medication ConfusionCarry a list of all your medications (see SecondsCount’s Know Your Meds List) along with the dosage and who prescribed them. Give a copy to each of your doctors and keep it up to date. Update it at each doctor’s visit.
    • Give a copy of your Know Your Med List medication list to any friends or family members who are involved in your care.
    • Count your pills when you place them in your dispensing system or each time you take them. Know how many you should have at all times.
    • Develop a routine for taking your medication. Try to take your medications at the same time every day. For example, take them at meal time, when you first go to bed, or when you first get up in the morning. Once it becomes a habit you’ll be less likely to forget or make mistakes.
    • Keep all medications in one location as much as possible. If you do have to keep something in the refrigerator, for example, put a place holder of some kind in your system. Use a nut or a dried bean in case you eat it by accident! Or, use the SecondsCount Meds Minder to track all types of medication.
    • Take your medication in a quiet place with as few distractions as possible. If you walk away to answer the phone or door while you’re counting your doses for the week or while you’re taking your pills, it’s very easy to get distracted and forget what you’ve done.
    • Mark a date and time on your calendar each week (or month, depending on the dispenser you use) to count out your pills and put them in the dispenser for the days ahead. Then, you can tell each time if you’ve already taken them.
    • Talk to your pharmacist about coordinating refills to do them all at once.
    •  Use only one pharmacy. It will help you take advantage of any discount plans and centralize your records for tracking drug interactions.
    • Ask a friend or family member to help you. They can help in so many ways, for example, going with you to appointments or helping you develop a system for remembering to take your medication.
    • Plan ahead for your next refill. When you refill your prescriptions, mark your calendar for the next time you will need to reorder—allow extra time so you don’t run out.
    • Do not share medications or keep your medication bottles or dispensers where other people keep their medications. It may be hard to tell them apart.
    • Keep medications away from pets and friends or family members who might be tempted to abuse them.
    • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new over-the-counter medications.
    • Do not use old or expired medicines.
    • When you receive your prescription medication, look at the label carefully to make sure it is correct. Read the insert and any other information provided about the medication.
    • If you are in the hospital, introduce yourself to each new staff person you meet. If they know who you are you’re more likely to receive the correct medication. Ask them to explain any changes.