You probably know what a pill organizer is. Whether you use one yourself or know someone who has one, they’ve become very popular in assisting people in tracking their medication intake. There was even a study done in the late 1990s that showcased how effective pill organizers were in helping people remember to take their medication.
It is understandable why a pill organizer might be helpful but have you thought more about your medication beyond what day you should be taking it? What do you actually know about the medications or supplements that you are currently taking? At SUN Behavioral Kentucky, we believe in the importance of knowing about your medications and what they do for you.
Here are some questions to consider:
16.5% of adults in 2020 were taking medication to assist with their mental health, according to the CDC. With the complexities of mental health and its treatments, many people are prescribed more than one pill to assist them on their mental health journey. The study of these medications and their usefulness is known as psychopharmacology.
Psychopharmacology falls under the umbrella of psychology. More specifically, it is the study of using medication as a part of the therapeutic process. The goal is always the patient's overall happiness and well-being as the end result.
Medication management can go hand in hand with this, especially when multiple medications are involved in a person’s life or treatment process. Medication management is the process of keeping track of the medications you are taking, noting side effects, making sure dosages are correct, and making sure your medications aren’t interacting in a potentially harmful way.
We here at SUN Behavioral Kentucky understand that medication is a powerful tool. From the ability to help prevent allergies to regulating blood pressure, or even helping focus the brain better, there are many uses for it. Over 66% of the population of the United States uses prescription medications. Most notably this includes people with chronic conditions, which include many things such as asthma, arthritis, diabetes, and more.
Medication in regard to mental health treatments is also shown to be helpful. It works most effectively in combination with therapy, helping you deal with potential symptoms so you can focus on learning new skills. This can help you better yourself and manage, or even overcome, your mental illness in the long run.
If you’re taking a variety of medications, medication management can be very helpful for staying on track and staying informed about what you’re taking and how it’s working, or not working, for you. Taking charge of your understanding of your medication can be helpful mentally as well. Knowing what’s going on in your body and having a say in it can help you feel more motivated about your own well-being.
Medications can interact in many different ways, and with higher numbers of medications being used comes the risk that two medications, or more, are counteracting each other. Keeping track of your medications and talking openly with your doctor about what each prescription is doing for your health can help both of you make sure that your medications are working as intended and giving you the best outcome.
Ideally, a good medication management plan should do the following:
One of the goals of medication management is to prevent drug misuse. By taking stock of your medications, writing down the dosages and schedule for them, and knowing more about them overall, you can help spot misuse that might already be occurring, or help prevent it in the future.
Drug misuse is simply when a drug is being used against medical recommendations. Not all drug misuse is intentional. Sometimes people forget their dosages or forget how often they’re supposed to take them. Having a record somewhere to reference that quickly and easily answers these questions can stop these mistakes from happening.
The best place to start with medication management is in the home. Compile a list of what medications you or your loved one are taking. Figure out what each one is being used for, notate possible side effects, and start keeping track of if these medications seem to be helping or not. This can help you know better what medications are actually working for you or not.
If you have questions along the way, write them down for future reference. You can use this to help you remember them the next time you’re able to speak to a medical professional. Maybe some of the side effects that you’re noticing are a cause of a medication combination instead of one particular medicine.
If you need help or assistance, whether in organizing your information, finding out more about what your medications do, or knowing where to start, our knowledgeable staff at SUN Behavioral Kentucky is ready and happy to help. Call us at 859-429-5188 to schedule a telehealth consultation today.
Medication management is important for your own well-being and ensuring that you are receiving the best care possible for yourself. Knowing what your medication does and which ones you’re taking and why can help. It can also help you to pin down a potential side effect if you’ve been experiencing them, and it keeps you on top of knowing if your treatment is working the way you were wanting it to.
Having someone close to you who cares, and is around often enough to help monitor and assist in medication management, can work very well. Two minds work better than one, and knowing you have someone who you can talk to about your medication management, or even ask questions to as they may see things that you don’t, is helpful.
The most important thing to do would be to talk to the doctor who prescribed you the medication about it. They can answer any questions you may have, and also help you find another solution to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.
The capable team at SUN Kentucky has been serving our community for years. Reach out to begin your journey to recovery.