For many people, prescription drugs are imperative when it comes to overcoming or battling an illness. Despite the fact that such drugs are commonplace, taken by millions of people in the United States alone, many people fail to take their medication as directed. According to Honglan Wang, a pharmaceutical industry team leader in Redwood City, California, almost 75% of people report that they don’t always take their medication per the instructions. The results of not taking your prescription drugs as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist can be catastrophic. Not only can this prevent your body from recovering from whatever illness or ailment you’re experiencing, but it can lead to hospitalization, addiction and in some cases, can even be life-threatening.
Honglan Wang urges all people on prescription drugs to take their medication exactly as directed. This is the only way to ensure your treatment works properly and to protect yourself against negative side effects. Continue reading for more information on the consequences that failing to follow your prescription drug instructions can have, as well as tips to help you take your medication as directed.
The Consequences of Failing to Follow the Instructions
Firstly, Honglan Wang claims that there are many reasons why people fail to follow their medication instructions. These range from forgetfulness or confusion, especially for those on multiple medications at once, to negative or uncomfortable side effects. Other reasons include a feeling that the medication isn’t working or the cost, as many brand name prescriptions drugs are expensive. While all of these reasons are understandable, you need to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”
There can be an extremely high cost to not taking your medication as prescribed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that disregard for prescription drug instructions results in between 30% and 50% of chronic treatment failures and 125,000 deaths in the United States annually. Thus, in order to keep your body as healthy as possible, taking the medication prescribed to you by health professionals — and doing so at the right time, in the right dosage, at the right frequency — is vital.
Tips to Help You Take Your Medication Correctly
Whether you’re fighting a chronic illness or overcoming a severe case of the flu, medication adherence is essential for your health. To make the process of taking prescription drugs as directed a little easier, Honglan Wang has provided a few helpful tips:
- Take your medication at the same time each day. Start taking your medication at the exact same time every single day. Set an alarm on your clock or your phone that goes off daily and serves as a reminder to take your medication. This will allow your medication to work as effectively as possible, while simultaneously allowing you to develop a habit so it becomes second nature and you won’t forget in future.
- Incorporate taking your medication into your daily routine. Honglan Wang believes that the best way to remember to take your medication is to incorporate it into one of your daily routines, whether this is taking your pill as you brush your teeth in the morning or taking it just before dinner time every night.
- Use a pill container. This is essential for people on multiple medications. A pill container will eliminate any confusion and keep all of your medications tidy and organized.
Honglan Wang’s Final Thoughts
The importance of medication adherence should be very clear by now. Not only does it provide the best chance of combating whatever ailment you are suffering from, it is critical to your health to not further complicate any existing issues. As Honglan Wang has pointed out, scientific evidence backs these statements, and you do not want to be one of the unfortunate 125,000 Americans who pass prematurely due to non-adherence with prescription medication.