In this month’s article, Mike Walsh MPSI, Walsh’s Pharmacy, Fermoy, looks at: 

Importance of taking your medication correctly

In order to get the most from your medicines, it is important that they are taken in accordance with the prescriber’s instructions. This means you need to understand:

  • Why you have been prescribed the medicine, for example to reduce blood pressure
  • How it should be used, such as inhaled or swallowed
  • When it should be taken (once a day, twice a day) and the interval between doses.
  • Any special cautions or warnings, such as taking with or after food
  • Any special storage requirements to make sure the quality of the medicine is not affected
  • The consequences of not taking the medicine as prescribed by your doctor.

If you are unsure on any of the above points, speak to your local Pharmacist who will be happy to help you with your queries.

Some general dos and donts

  • You should never share your medicines with another person or take another person’s medicines. Medicines are prescribed for a specific condition, symptom or ailment. The prescriber and your Pharmacist will check the suitability of the medicine prescribed for you and your condition, and also the compatibility with any other medicines being taken. This means that if you take someone else’s medicine, you will not know if it is suitable or compatible with other medicines and it could make your symptoms worse or it could make you very ill.
  • Don’t be tempted to use more or less than the dose prescribed without first consulting with either the GP or your Pharmacist. Similarly don’t stop taking a medicine that is intended for long term use (such as cholesterol medication) without consulting the prescriber or your Pharmacist. Some medicines have a detrimental effect if stopped suddenly.
  • Do make sure you are organised so that any long term or repeat medicines are replenished before the previous batch run out.
  • If you are having problems remembering to take your medicines at the right time, or you get confused due to the number of different medicines you have, speak to your Pharmacist to see how they can help you. There are many medicine compliance aids such as a weekly blister packing service that your pharmacy can provide.

Talk to your local Pharmacist if you have any queries or concerns over your medicines.

The May article will focus on osteoporosis.