It can be challenging, frustrating, and even isolating to live with a chronic health condition, but it’s not at all uncommon. Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, and other long-term illnesses affect millions of adults in the United States—60 percent of Americans have at least one chronic disease, and 40 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with two or more.
Chronic pain is also incredibly pervasive, affecting more Americans than heart disease, diabetes, and cancer combined. Whether it’s the product of another condition or it develops and subsists on its own, persistent pain is both a leading cause of disability and the primary reason people choose to seek medical care.
Whether you’re dealing with chronic illness, ongoing pain, or both, chances are your treatment plan includes various medications to help control your condition and alleviate discomfort. If this sounds familiar, you may be an ideal candidate for medication management, a comprehensive service that aims to optimize drug therapy. Here’s how it works.
Medication management 101
Medication management is the careful accounting and control of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking at any given time.
With an overarching goal of making pharmaceutical therapy as safe, effective, and appropriate as possible, medication management is the best way to prevent the potentially dangerous drug interactions that are more likely to affect those who take several medications to treat multiple chronic conditions.
The first step in effective medication management is conducting an A-to-Z review of your health, your current medication needs, and a full list of the medications you’re taking.
This allows us to identify existing or potential drug therapy problems, including side effects and interactions; it also gives us an opportunity to spot medications that may no longer contribute to your overall health and well-being.
A comprehensive, personalized process
By emphasizing whole-person care that places your individual needs and health goals at the forefront, medication management goes far beyond detailing your prescriptions and finding potential problems—it also includes a comprehensive care plan that:
- Monitors, documents, and evaluates your response to medications
- Effectively resolves or prevents side effects and drug interactions
- Ensures you know the best way to administer each of your medications
- Eliminates unnecessary medications, or reduces dosages when appropriate
- Simplifies your medication plan to reduce costs wherever possible
- Provides you with a personal medication record and a written care plan
On top of helping you become a more active participant in your own care, medication management gives you a better understanding of where you’re currently at as well as how you may be able to reduce your reliance on medication in the future.
Real-life health benefits
You already know that taking multiple medications increases your risk of experiencing adverse drug interactions, but did you know that suffering an adverse reaction leaves you susceptible to a wide variety of complications, ranging from dizziness and drowsiness to severe headaches and confusion?
This helps explain why people who take multiple medications are more likely to suffer a fall, visit the emergency room, or be hospitalized. Taking multiple prescriptions also increases the likelihood that you’ll forget to take some of those medicines from time-to-time, or even routinely, as is often the case for people with memory problems.
By helping you adhere to your prescribed drug therapy, medication management is arguably just as important to your health as the medication itself.
In fact, not adhering to a prescribed drug therapy, even when it’s accidental, can carry a serious risk of adverse health consequences. For example, people with cardiovascular disease who fail to take their medications even as little as 20 percent of the time are much more likely to be re-hospitalized with heart failure.
Medication management at home
To make your daily medication routine easier and as manageable as possible, we can provide you with a few simple strategies that leave you feeling comfortable and confident in your routine.
Effective at-home medication management strategies include keeping an up-to-date checklist of all the prescription and over-the-counter medications that you take, including detailed information for each drug about dosage, timing, and whether it should be taken with food, water, or on an empty stomach.
Other simple strategies include setting a timer to remind you to take your medicine, and asking your pharmacist to give you your medicine in large containers with distinct, easy-to-read labels.
To learn more about medication management or find out how it can benefit you, call your nearest Pacific Pain and Regenerative Medicine office in Los Angeles or Irvine, California today, or use the easy online tool to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hasan Badday any time.