The Importance of Taking Medication as Instructed

Medication Management

Taking medication that a doctor has prescribed to you should be taken seriously and you should follow all advice and instructions given to you. If you do this you will get the most benefit out of the medication you are taking and have a better chance of a health outcome. Taking the medication improperly or not taking it at all means that whatever the medication was prescribed for might not get better or may even develop further and cause even more problems.

edicine doctor holding a color capsule pill in hand with icon medical network connection on modern virtual screen interface in laboratory background, medical technology network concept

Paid Medication

First of all, if you are paying for medicine as prescribed, you have been advised to follow the instructions given to you, not only for the benefit of your own health but also because what is the point in spending money on something and not using it properly? If you don’t stick to what your doctor prescribed you to do, then it won’t work properly and you’ll just have wasted more money trying to treat yourself. 

Schedule Your Doses

You should be making sure that you remember to take your medication at the same time every day, at proper intervals and not at the wrong times!

To make sure you stick to this you should divide up the time you take your medication doses evenly throughout the day. This means taking two doses every 12 hours for medication that needs to be taken twice a day or every four hours if medication needs to be taken six times a day and so on. To do this, you should set up a schedule that doesn’t interfere with your daily routine and aim to take your medication within an hour of the time that you have scheduled. 

Colored pills and granules medical realistic composition on white vector illustration

Furthermore, you should be taking all doses of the medication as prescribed to you each day so that you stick to the plan and the drugs can take effect as they are supposed to. If you forget a dose, which is easy to do, you should try and take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time of the next dose in which case you should skip it and carry on with the schedule as normal.

As long as this happens only occasionally it shouldn’t interfere much with the treatment and the medication should still work.

It is important not to take a dose you have forgotten if it is close to the next dose as this could cause side effects or worse depending on the type of medication you are taking.

Properly scheduling your doses helps you to absorb the right amount of the medication you have been prescribed so that side effects are less likely to happen, and the drugs can work how they are meant to.

Some medication requires people to be on an empty stomach while others work better if food is consumed a certain amount of time before or after the medication is taken. It is important to read the instructions on any medications you are taking so that you don’t miss important information like this. If these conditions aren’t met, then the drugs may not work properly or could cause nasty problems in your stomach, leading to possibilities of nausea and stomach pains.

Side Effects

Side effects are common in many different types of medications, some more than others, and they can come in many different shapes and forms. Most side effects, such as nausea or vomiting, are temporary and relatively easy to get past while some can last hours or the whole time you are taking the medication. 

The majority of people who experience side effects state that they are much worse during the first couple of weeks after starting the course of medication they have been prescribed. Even if this is the case you should not change the dosage you are taking or stop your medication without talking to your doctor first.

After a few weeks, most people find that they have gotten used to the medications they are taking and the side effects are no longer present or are very mild. If the side effects continue or worsen, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible to discuss what the best course to continue is.

medication illustration

In some cases, side effects can be more manageable if the dose of the medication in question is lowered. This, however, depends on the medication itself and what particular drug is used. Lowering the dose of some drugs too much can actually make whatever it is supposed to be treating more resistant which means that it loses all effectiveness meaning the medication becomes useless to the individual taking it. You should always talk to your doctor first before lowering the dose of your medication to alleviate side effects. 

It is best to completely stop taking the medication altogether if the side effects are severe or seemingly endless. If this happens, consult your doctor or physician to see if you can lower the dosage or be prescribed a completely different medication. Never lower the dosage of your medication unless you have been advised to.

If you experience any of the following you should stop your medication and seek immediate medical attention:

  • Unexplained bruising/bleeding
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Heart pounding and chest pains/tightening
  • Fever or chills
  • Sudden and severe stomach pains followed by nausea or vomiting
  • Severe rash with or without symptoms like fever, swelling of the facial area, muscle and joint aches

Do I have to Buy More Medicine to Finish my Medication?

It may be the case that you’ve finished the course of treatment but you are still feeling unwell. If this happens, the best thing to do is to consult your doctor to get their advice before purchasing anything. Your doctor may prescribe you a completely different medication or they may be able to up the dosage.

This can save you both money and stress as if you were to just buy more of the same medicine whatever you are taking it for may become resistant and you would just be wasting money. It is always best to consult your doctor or physician before making any decisions when it comes to medication.