Medicine!!!! Being the most important part of our current lifestyle, learn more about Medicine, importance & issues related to its Compliance.
Medicine is not only a science, it is an also an art. It does not consists of compounding pills and plasters, it deals with the very process of life, which must be understood before they may be guided.
Medically, a medicine is described as a drug that is used to diagnose your medical condition, used to treat and help you cure from it. It is also meant to prevent you from disease.
Today, we definitely have various types of treatment like Allopathic, Ayurvedic, Unani, Homeopathic to choose from. But, the cure of your disease or condition lies with the level of your compliance to medication your are taking.
A patient compliance to medication is defined as degree to which a patient correctly follows their prescribed medication. Compliance to a medication is an important task and requires patient to be positively motivated, to adhere to the prescribed treatment in order to achieve perceived self-benefited and positive outcome.
While finding the reason and solution for non-compliance, it was found that:
- Approx. 50% of patients do not or are unable to adhere to their medication,
- Around 20-30% of new prescriptions are never filled at the pharmacy,
- Medication prescribe for chronic diseases, majority of patients after six months either start taking less medication than prescribed or stop completely.
- Only 51% of patients prescribed for high blood pressure adhere to the medication, rest either do not continue or even start the medication until the condition becomes verse.
Reason for non-compliance was found to be due to varied reasons like:
- Poor Patient-provider Relationship: Many people do not get proper guidance and care from their healthcare provider, which becomes the major cause of non-compliance because either they do not understand the prescription or do not find it important to adhere to the medication.
- Inadequate Access to Health Services: Not every patient gets access to proper healthcare service. For eg. people people living in remote area or villages do not get access to majority of the services because the hospital available there are not well-equipped. They have to either go to cities for services or majority of time they tend to leave it.
- High Medication Cost: The medication definitely plays an important factor, as not every patient are capable of affording expensive medication. Diseases like cancer turns out to be really expensive for common people or people with low wages.
- Level of Symptom Severity: Patients do not understand the need of completing the medication. Once they feel they are fine or their condition is stable, they tend to stop medication on their own.
- Availability of Effective Treatments: The availability of effective treatment has currently not achieved everywhere. Still patients trying to find effective treatment have to travel to other parts, which becomes a factor of not adhering to the prescription.
- Immediacy of Beneficial Effects: Patients have their mind that they will heal immediately once they start medication, and if there is delay they feel the medication is not working and they switch to another medication (this mostly happens with Ayurvedic medication).
- Side Effects: With any medication or drug come some side effects. If patients are not informed about the possible side-effects they might face during the course, patients leave the medication without informing and only sometime they inform the practitioner.
- Inadequate Knowledge of Treatment: Not having proper knowledge the medication, dosage and treatment leads to definite reason for patient’s non-compliance.
The main question that always remains with patients is what happens if we do not take medicine on time, do not adhere to prescribed medication? Why do I have to take all the medicine prescribed? And the answer is “Its the need! it’s needed to cure your illness and enhance your wellbeing“.
Adherence to your medication becomes very important when you are prescribed for chronic diseases, when you are put on anti-biotic therapy. Medicine does cure you from your condition, but definitely it needs time to reach right stop of action, to release and show its effect.
It is like a relay race, one dose of drug reaches the spot, releases and start its action, the other dose of the drug is then administered to maintain the level of action, followed by another dose until the desired goal is achieved. And the ultimate goal is healing you from your condition. And when the next dose is not administered or delayed it leads to decrease in the achieved effect or sometime may lead to a more serious outcome. For example; in case of antibiotic, failure to use antibiotics properly can worsen your symptoms or lead to antibiotic resistance.
The best way of sticking to your medication achieve your health goals is talk to your Doctor or Medical practitioner or Pharmacist. Understand your medication regime, the importance of various drugs prescribed in your medication. You can know about their effect and side-effects, know about the foods that are best suited with your medication and the once those are contra-indicated. This is the best possible way by which you can manage your chronic diseases and overcome it.
Some of the other tips that will be beneficial in adhering to your medication are:
- Take your Medicine at the same time every day: It is not a big task, you can achieve easily. You can make a diet plan, write it down and stick it or save it on your mobile. You just have make the effort of sticking to that diet plan for the set time. While making your diet, you have keep in mind your medication, time of administration (Like before food or after food, in the morning or afternoon or evening, etc.).
- Medicine Calendar: Yes, a medicine calendar to a track of medicine. Prepare a calendar according to your medication, you can also ask your healthcare practitioner to help you with the calendar. This calendar will help you not to skip your medicine or taking double dose of medicine, in case you tend to forget.
- Pill Container: You can find it easily in pharmacy or even with your healthcare provider, or even you can easily make it at home (you just need a box and make 1section/day for a week. This you can refill it on every weekend once the medicine gets over. This will help you keep a count on your medicine intake and on time without skipping any dose.
- Take extra medication while Travelling: Sometimes traveling gets hectic and also has lots of chances of skipping or forgetting to take medicine on time. There can be chances when the medication gets damaged during travelling. Extra precaution is to be taken during travelling.
- Incase of you flying, keep your medication in your carry bag to avoid any kind of issue like luggage loss or avoid you skipping medicines at your prescribed time. Also, the temperature in the cargo hold can damage your medication.
Remember, you are the best caretaker of yourself. You can put your present and future health at risk if you avoid following the medications as directed.
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