Tips for Taking Your Medicine

Pain, General, Infant and Children | February 24, 2018 | Author: Naturopath

Children, general, Pain

Tips for Taking Your Medicine

Medications, whether they are pharmaceutical or natural, can be an important element in keeping a person healthy. However, some medications can be taken incorrectly, and their effectiveness may be reduced. Another issue with “bad tasting” medications is lack of patient compliance. This article will detail ways in which you can improve the palatability of medications (especially for children), while detailing some important cautions and interactions. There are also helpful tips to assist you in remembering to take your medications and to avoid dangerous interactions.

Improving the taste of medications

Some herbal medicines, pharmaceuticals and other liquid supplements can be off putting because of their unpleasant flavour. For children improving the flavour of a medication can improve compliance and make the whole process a lot easier. When adding extra ingredients into a medication it is best to check with a pharmacist or other health professional as not all the following suggestions may be suitable.

Add juice

Improving the taste of medicationsJuice will add a natural sweetness to a medication. It’s important to only add a small amount and in some cases, it can be diluted with water.

Make sure the juice is good quality and not made from reconstituted ingredients. In hot weather, the juice mixture can be frozen into ice blocks.

Good examples of juice varieties include pineapple, apple and mango.

Mix with yoghurt

Yoghurt is a great medium to add medications to—especially if they are oils and don’t dissolve in water. Examples of supplements to add into yoghurt include probiotics, fish oil and fibre supplements such as slippery elm.

Add to a smoothie

Diluting the medication in a larger quantity of liquid can help to reduce the flavour and sometimes a child may not notice it at all. You could try a smoothie consisting of cow’s milk (or a milk alternative such as coconut water or rice milk), banana and mango. The only worry with this method is that the child may not receive the full dose if they don’t drink the whole amount.

Mix with honey

Sometimes just a small amount of sweetener is all that is needed. Examples of better quality forms include honey, maple syrup, stevia or xylitol.

Important cautions and interactions

While it’s not possible to list all the cautions and interactions regarding natural therapies and pharmaceuticals here are two of the most important ones. It’s important to check with your doctor, pharmacist and naturopath if you have any concerns. Always follow the recommended dosage and guidelines on the label to ensure you are taking your medications correctly.

Blood thinning medications

Blood thinning medicationsIf you are taking blood thinning medications, it’s important to be aware of natural therapies that can do the same. While more recent research has suggested there is less of a concern than previously thought, they should still be approved through your doctor. Examples of supplements that may have a potential interaction include garlic, fish oil, ginkgo, coenzyme Q10 and vitamin E.
Click Here for Article on Herbs with Interactions
Click Here For Article on Nutrients with Interactions

Fibre supplements

Did you know that if you take your medications at the same time as a fibre supplement this may reduce the effectiveness of your medications? This doesn’t mean you have to stop taking fibre, just separate the dose by at least 2 hours. Examples of fibre supplements include those that contain psyllium husks such as Metamucil.

How to protect yourself from dangerous drug interactions

Keep a record

Keep a detailed list of all prescription drugs you are taking, plus any vitamins and over the counter medications. This list can be taken to your doctor to ensure that you’re getting the correct medications and that your risk for drug interactions remains low.

Communicate with your doctor

Doctors do the best they can to get you the correct medication, but sometimes prescription drugs have unforeseen reactions. Because of this, it’s wise to stay in contact with your doctor and don’t hesitate to call if you have any concerns or feel that you are having an adverse reaction. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a different medication or look for alternative options to help reduce any side-effects.

Ask to have a medication review

When you meet with your doctor, ask if there is anything you can do to minimize the number of medications you take daily.

Ask to have a medication reviewThey may be able to suggest a non-pharmacological treatment that can still offer you symptomatic relief.

If this is not possible, the doctor may still be able to limit the number of medications you have to take more than once each day.

The fewer the pills you take, the lower your risk of adverse reactions to medications.

Visit the same pharmacy

If you’re taking several medications and each of them is filled by a different pharmacy, it can feel impossible to keep track of it all. For this reason, it’s wise to pick one pharmacy and use it for all your prescription needs. This can help prevent negative drug interactions and make filling your prescriptions a one-stop event. Once you’ve chosen your pharmacy, ask if they offer an auto-refill service to remind you to pick up your next round of medications.

Finally, choosing one pharmacy allows you to develop a relationship with the pharmacist, who can be a valuable ally in your health care. Don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist questions if you have concerns about your medication. Although a pharmacist doesn’t replace your doctor, they can be a valuable resource for medication-related questions and concerns.

Tips for remembering to take your medications

  • Tips for remembering to take your medicationsUse a pill box—you can dispense ahead of time what medications you need for that day, week or even month. Some pharmacies offer this as an additional service.
  • Incorporate your medications into your routine. Take your medications at the same time every day such as around meal times or after brushing your teeth.
  • Give yourself reminders—leave notes in visible areas such as on the fridge or bathroom mirror as a daily reminder.
  • Use an alarm—you may already use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning so why not use it as a reminder to take your medications. You could use an alarm on your phone, your watch, an actual alarm clock or a medical alert device to remind you when it’s time to take your meds.  Australia’s best online discount chemist


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