Patients shouldn't take the responsibility of taking prescription medications lightly. Unfortunately, many patients are unaware of common mistakes prescription drug takers make that could make taking prescription medications less convenient, more expensive, or even hazardous to their health.
The following are six of the most common prescription drug medication mistakes patients make:
Always going to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions
Many patients suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease must take a prescription medicine regularly over the long term. For these patients, it's often possible to have medicine delivered through the mail from an online pharmacy.
Mail delivery of prescription medications makes getting prescriptions filled much more convenient. It also makes it less likely that patients will forget prescription renewals.
Buying brand name drugs when generics are available
Generic drugs have been shown by research studies to be just as effective as brand name drugs. They're also 80 to 85 percent cheaper than brand name drugs.
If your health insurance doesn't cover all of your prescription drug costs, you should definitely look into the cost advantages of generic prescription drugs.
Taking crushed pills without first discussing it with the doctor
Don't assume that you can take any pill in its crushed form without first discussing the matter with your doctor. Some medications might be ineffective if they are crushed before being taken.
If you're having trouble swallowing a large pill, discuss the matter with your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe the drug in liquid form or in another form if it cannot be crushed when taken in pill form.
Neglecting to look at drug expiration dates
It's easy to overlook expiration dates when you're taking a prescription drug, but you should make sure that your prescription is still good before you take it. A prescription drug that has gone past its expiration date might be less effective or not effective at all.
Storing prescription medications in the wrong environments
Some prescription medications need to be refrigerated to remain effective. Even if a prescription drug doesn't need to be refrigerated, you can assume that it is liable to go bad if it is kept in an excessively hot or humid environment. Likewise, prescription drugs can become altered if they are stored in very cold environments.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how your prescription medications need to be stored.
Not strictly following the prescription
When you're on a prescription drug, you need to be conscientious about not forgetting doses. If you don't follow your prescription carefully, you face overdose or addiction risks. You also face the risk that you will take too little and render the drug ineffective.
Contact a pharmacist for additional info.