How to Make Drugs Work More Effectively
Drugs for treating and preventing illnesses come in different forms and are taken in different ways. However, they may not work or even become dangerous if taken incorrectly or mixed with certain medications. That’s why it is important to take them correctly to be sure they work.
In order to make drugs work more effectively patients should:
Take them as directed. One of the biggest problems is that people often take the prescribed drugs irregularly. They either forget to take them or stop taking them when begin to feel better. It is necessary to take drugs as prescribed by the doctor and to keep track of them.
Keep them organized. If you are prescribed multiple medications, you may find it difficult to keep them organized and take them on schedule. Learn to build a schedule and organize all your drugs to avoid potential side effects and get the most of them. Keep a personal medication record and have a reminder of when you began the drug and when you are to stop it. A pill dispenser will help you to sort your medications and allow to keep detailed track of which pills you need to take and when.
Take your drugs even if you don’t have noticeable symptoms. While sneezing or coughing makes you know that you are sick, many heart diseases do not have symptoms that can be identified without a specialist examination.
Continue taking the drug even when symptoms seem to have improved. Never stop taking the prescribed medications without first consulting with your doctor. It is a huge misconception that you do not need high blood pressure treatment once your pressure has dropped to a normal level. If you stop taking your medicines, the blood pressure will start to rise again and soon it can become even higher as it was before.
Inform your doctor about all the medications you are taking. Drug interactions can change the way a medication works, making it less or more effective. For example, blood-thinning drugs for cardiovascular disease do not work effectively if a person consumes too much vitamin K. Therefore, your prescribing doctor should know about all other medications and supplements you are taking.
Be aware of drug interactions with food. Check whether your drugs should be taken on a full stomach or an empty one as this can affect the way they are absorbed. Foods and drinks you consume can also make a difference. For instance, alcohol can change how well your kidneys process any sort of medication. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice mixed with certain drugs for lowering cholesterol levels can cause higher levels of those medications in the body, causing severe side effects.
Check the expiry date. The manufacturer guarantees the full potency and safety of the drug before the expiration date. Although the actual shelf life of some drugs is longer than labeled on the expiration date, some drugs may lose their efficacy starting a few months after the expiry date. Solid dosage forms, such as capsules and tablets, are the most stable after the expiry date, whereas liquid dosage forms, such as solutions or suspensions become ineffective when outdated. Moreover, if your drug has expired, it’s probably time to see your doctor to make sure the medication is still appropriate for you.
Store the medications right. Most drugs will lose their potency if stored in the wrong place. Check the pamphlet to learn whether the drug should be stored in the refrigerator or on a cool shelf. Never keep your drugs in humid bathrooms and avoid their exposure to direct sunlight as this will affect their stability and effectiveness.