Taking Control of Your Medications: 6 Steps for Safer Rx Management
Concerned you’re taking too many medications? Half of American adults take an average of four to five prescription drugs, as well as one or two over-the-counter drugs and one vitamin or supplement daily. With all the bottles, dosages and interactions to keep track of, regular management of your medications may seem like a daunting task.
Wednesday, October 21 is National Check Your Meds Day—an important reminder to check in with your pharmacist or doctor to give you peace of mind that you’re in control. From reviewing current prescriptions to assessing your over-the-counter drug usage, there are steps you can take to make managing your medications safer—and easier.
Stick to one pharmacy. If possible, select one pharmacy to keep all your medication records in a single place. This can help your pharmacist evaluate drug risks and interactions, while making the refill process easier, too. You may also want to take advantage of pre-sorted prescription packs from services like SimpleDose or PillPack, which fill, organize and deliver medications to your home—often at no additional cost. So, there’s never any question about which medications need to be taken on a given day.
Ask questions. Before filling new prescriptions, have an honest conversation with your doctor. Are there potential side effects? Should it be taken with food or on an empty stomach? Are there possible interactions with other pills or supplements? Is there a more cost-efficient prescription option? And if you’ve been taking the medication for a while with no improvement, speak up and see if there’s another alternative that may better suit your needs.
Assess your non-prescription usage. Don't forget—over-the-counter medications come with side effects and interactions. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that you should never take drugs to treat sleeplessness if you’re taking prescription sedatives or tranquilizers. They also advise not to use a nasal decongestant if you’re taking a prescription for high blood pressure or depression, or if you have heart or thyroid disease, or diabetes. As always, take the time to carefully scrutinize each label and check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure.
Maintain an updated medication list. Keep a running list of the all the medications you take—both over-the-counter and prescription—including the drug’s name, dosage, frequency and reason for taking it. Keep several copies on hand, making sure to always carry one on your person in case of a medical emergency. It may also be a good idea to share your list with a trusted family member. This can help your providers be aware of any side effects, interactions or related symptoms you may be experiencing.
Set up a reminder system. Not sure if you’ve taken your medications today? Setting a reminder can make sure it’s part of your daily routine. A pill box, for example, is designed with compartments for each day of the week, so you don’t have to question it. You can also post a medication schedule on your refrigerator or set daily reminders on your phone to take your medication as needed.
Get prescriptions refills early. Don't wait until the bottle is empty. Running out of your medication could quickly exacerbate health conditions. Inquire with your pharmacist to see if you can get multiple medications on the same refill schedule. And while you’re at it, make it a habit to check expiration dates on over-the-counter medications and discard any that are past their prime.
Playing it safer during your retirement years
From taking control of your medications to taking control of your finances, retirement can open the door to many new challenges and opportunities. If you’re a homeowner age 62 or older, for example, you may be eligible to leverage your home equity in order to supplement your retirement income.
A reverse mortgage loan from Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF) can help you access the equity you’ve built up in your home to maintain a comfortable retirement — all while still living in it and retaining ownership. As with any mortgage, you must meet your loan obligations, keeping current with property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. To learn more, call RMF today at (888) 277-1567 and schedule a convenient, in-person appointment with a loan specialist in your area.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 4.7-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
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