Tracking Medications

I’m often amazed at the number of prescription medications many of us are on. Keeping track of the drug names, what the drug is supposed to do, side effects to look out for, dosages, and refill dates can be overwhelming. And, this doesn’t even consider the vitamins, supplements or over-the-counter medications that may be needed as well.

Some of us are have developed methods of how to consistently keep it all straight. We write them out on a sheet of paper, we type them into our notes on the phone, we input them into an app, or we just get a family member to handle it for us. However, there are some of us that can’t quite get any system going, and we are forever finding ourselves at the doctor’s office being asked to list out our current medications and vitamins. Where is that list?!

In case you are one of those still searching for a way to manually keep track of your prescriptions, here are some suggested links for how to get started:

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/tracking-your-medications-worksheet?utm_source=20180326_medworksheet&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ealert

https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2007/my_personal_medication_record.html

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/online-forms-get-started#1

https://www.ismp.org/Tools/personal_med_form/Personal_Medicine_List.pdf

If you are more of a phone/tablet kind of person, there are hundreds of apps available with varying degrees of complication. A 2017 study done in Australia found medical adherence to prescriptive treatment improved with the regular use of medical apps. The study also undertook to assist in locating the more effective apps available. Here’s the summary (although keep in mind this information is already a year old):

“The advanced medical app with the most functionalities was the Medisafe and Pill Reminder app (Google Play | iTunes) by Drugs.com (14 functionalities), while AlarMeds (Google Play) had the most functionalities amongst the basic apps (7 functionalities). The My Heart My Life app (Google Play | iTunes) was evaluated to be intuitive, easy to use and to navigate, while the MedicineList+ app (Google Play | iTunes) provided high quality information from the accredible National Prescribing Service MedicineWise Australia. The MARS tool revealed that Medisafe and Pill Reminder and My Heart My Life were the best advanced and basic apps available, respectively. It should be noted that MedicineList+ and My Heart My Life are only available in Australia.” https://www.imedicalapps.com/2017/01/study-best-medication-adherence-medical-apps/

If none of this helps, there’s still hope for you. Our wonderful drug companies are not only pumping out more and more prescriptions for the ever growing number of conditions being identified, they are now also coming up with drugs to track whether you took your medicines. Yep, it’s true. I’m not making this stuff up.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/fda-approves-pill-tracks-whether-you-took-your-meds-n820601

On a final note, maybe simplification is best. There are those that prescribe to the idea that food is our best medicine. How many of our medications can we ultimately do without when we choose the foods that our bodies need? It may be worth trying.

Kimberly J. Syfrett

Attorney at Law

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