Taking your medication effectively and following your pharmacist’s instructions isn’t always easy. Here are a few tips to help you meet this challenge.
Treatment adherence: a daily challenge
Most pharmacists have heard the following comment: “You know, I don’t really like taking medication.” This sentiment is shared by many individuals. Although medication is beneficial, we would prefer to do without it. However, to preserve health, prevent or treat illnesses or ease symptoms, people of all ages must turn to drug therapy.
It is crucial to carefully follow your doctor’s and pharmacist’s advice and instructions when it comes to medication. This allows you to reap all of the benefits and limit the risks and inconveniences, such as side effects or overdoses.
The obstacles of medication
Certain factors can make taking medication and treatment adherence more difficult. Furthermore, we may sometimes have (or find!) reasons for not following a drug therapy.
Here are some examples of arguments raised and of advice pertaining to them. We hope that this advice will help you to take your medication as prescribed, consistently and as long as necessary.
- Argument: “I don’t feel sick. Why should I take medication?“
Our advice: If your doctor prescribes you medication, it’s because he considers it to be essential to maintain your health. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to clearly explain why you must take the medication and to specify the benefits it provides in your personal situation.
- Argument: “I always forget to take my medication.“
Our advice: There are ways to remind you to take your medication. For example, by using the Online Health Record tool, you can set up notifications that you will receive by text message or by email. Your pharmacist can suggest other tips and hints.
- Argument: “I have to take medication several times a day.“
Our advice: Certain people have a complex drug regimen involving several medications or doses per day. Certain tools that make taking medication easier are available, including the pill dispenser service. Find out more from your pharmacist.
- Argument: “I’m not sure I know how to take my medication.“
Our advice: Dosage, taking a drug with or without food, the administration method, storage method, duration of treatment, etc. There are so many factors to take into account to ensure optimal and safe use of medications. Ask your pharmacist as many questions as necessary to ensure that you understand everything clearly.
- Argument: “I’m afraid of having side effects.“
Our advice: It’s a good idea to ask about any potential side effects, by be careful not to overly anticipate them. If you have side effects, your pharmacist will tell you what to do to alleviate or eliminate them. Speak to him/her about your concerns, and never discontinue your treatment before consulting him/her.
- Argument: “I’m afraid of developing a habit or an addiction to my medication.“
Our advice: Most medications are not habit-forming or addictive. Speak to your pharmacist if you are concerned about this issue.
- Argument: “My medication is too expensive.“
Our advice: If you find that your medication is too expensive, speak to your pharmacist to find out if there is an alternative solution that is less costly: a generic, small format, another formulation, etc. This applies to prescribed or over-the-counter medication.
- Argument: “I don’t like the taste of my medication.“
Our advice: It is possible to lessen the unpleasant taste of a medication. When possible, medication can be mixed with food. In the case of liquid medications, the FLAVORx+ service is an interesting option! Your pharmacist can provide additional information on the subject.
- Argument: “My lifestyle makes it difficult to manage my medication.“
Our advice: Do you lead an active and busy life, making it a challenge to manage your medication? Your pharmacist can recommend options to make your life easier, such as a mobile app, advance refill methods, the It’s Ready! Notification Service, etc.
- Argument: “I don’t trust my doctor (or my pharmacist).“
Our advice: It can be difficult to find a family doctor, but finding a pharmacist is easy enough! A professional relationship based on trust is crucial when it comes to following instructions relating to medication. Choose a pharmacist that instills confidence and consult him/her often!