Follow these tips for keeping your prescription medications organized:
Make a list. Keep an updated list of all your over-the-counter and prescription medications with you at all times so you can share it with each member of your health care team when you go to doctor visits and get prescriptions filled. Include the name of each medication you are taking, along with the dosage information and the reason you are taking it.
Maintain a prescription medication file. After you read the written material that accompanies your prescription medication, file it in a place where you can find it easily should you ever have questions about dosage or side effects.
Use one pharmacy. If possible, have all of your medications filled at the same pharmacy, so that your pharmacist can track them all and alert you to possible drug interactions.
Ask your doctor the ideal time to take each prescription medication, and use one or more of the following reminder techniques:
Get into a routine. If you are only taking one or two medications, simply getting into the routine of taking them when you wake up, at a mealtime, or at bedtime can ensure you are taking your medication as directed.
Use a chart or calendar. For people who rely on calendars to keep their schedule or who respond well to visual cues, incorporating prescription medication times into a chart or calendar can serve as a reminder.
Use a pill organizer. Put your medications into a weekly or monthly pillbox to erase any confusion about whether you have taken your medication yet. There are a variety of these organizers available, ranging from those with enough compartments for two or more daily doses for each day of the week to those that sound an alarm when it’s time to take the medication.
Use a reminder service. If health issues make it hard to remember when to take prescription medications, consider a medical alert company that places reminder calls when it’s time to take the next dose.
As the number of prescription medications you take adds up, so do the expenses. Here are some ways you can reduce the cost of your meds:
Medicare. If you have Medicare, you are eligible for prescription medication coverage.
Generics. Ask your pharmacist if there is a less-expensive, generic version of the prescription medication you are taking.
Pharmaceutical company programs. Many drug companies offer medications at low or no cost to people with low incomes.
Mail-order pharmacies. Some insurance companies offer prescriptions by mail at lower cost.
Shop around. Pharmacies will often price-match or offer competitive discounts, so call around before getting your prescription filled.
State programs. A number of states offer medication assistance programs for seniors and other people who cannot afford medications.