Effects of Medication Noncompliance

Importance of Medication Compliance

Consumers and patients must take their medications wisely and the first step is to learn everything about the prescription drug. It's imperative to know the side effects, how to properly administer the drug, the proper dosage and if one should eat food with the pill, and to know the date and time a person should terminate its usage altogether.

Medication adherence requires compliance, understanding, communication, and resources for proper counseling in order to gain complete compliance. To get the full therapeutic benefit of medications, even over-the-counter drugs, compliance with directions is essential throughout the regime of the prescribed meds.

The 4 Steps to Medication Compliance

  1. Know what you are taking and its purpose, or how it serves the healing process
  2. Agree with your doctor that you need this medication, which is why you must take it correctly
  3. Remember to take your medications on time, every time
  4. Get prescriptions refilled in time, every time

Unfortunately, not everyone is compliant with their medications because of one or more of these reasons. Almost 20% of people aged 65 and older take over 10 medications and one-half of elders who take at least one medication find it difficult to take them correctly. This can create very serious problems.

Reasons for Always Taking Medication Correctly

Noncompliance or misuse of medications can result in costly medical care. One example that occurs frequently is drug-induced confusion resulting from prescribed drugs in the incorrect diagnosis of "dementia." What's worse, the unwise use of medications can result in increased morbidity and mortality, and increased healthcare costs.

Most individuals understand the negative effects of using medications incorrectly. Medication errors can cause adverse drug events and frequent emergency room visits. It's one of the biggest factors of patient safety.

  • Hospital admission
  • Nursing home admission
  • Death

Tips to Ensure No Medication is Ever Missed

  • Think about what the medication is for and use that reason as a way to motivate the patient to stay on track. For example, "I am taking this medicine to keep my blood pressure down and stay out of the hospital."
  • Get a pillbox or medicine reminder that ensures your medicine is always with you and you won't forget to take it.
  • Always keep you prescriptions filled.
  • Set a day of the month when you will always take care of this and keep it on your calendar
  • If you several medications, talk to your doctor to go over every medication you are taking and the purpose of each.

Staying alert about your medications means living a longer, healthier life! Once you get organized and set up a manageable plan, being compliant to your medications will be no big deal.

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