If you are taking a medication, you should follow the directions carefully to make sure you take it as prescribed. If you do not follow the instructions, you can risk not getting the desired effect of your medication. However, there are ways to make it easier for you to take your medication. These include: Taking the medicine on an empty stomach, knowing when to take it, and being aware of your metabolism.
For patients with chronic conditions, adherence to medication is crucial. Not taking medications can have negative consequences. Nonadherence is linked to social determinants of health, and accounts for $500 billion in annual medical costs. Many nonadherence cases require hospitalization and other interventions. To improve adherence, it is vital to ensure that patients understand and follow their doctor’s directions for taking their medications.
Managing complex medication schedules requires organization and regular reminders. Some patients, especially minors, may need support and accountability to stay on track. Providing reminders to refill medications can also help patients. Lastly, patient education is crucial to improving adherence. A pharmacist can offer tips for improving adherence.
Measures for measuring adherence include self-reports and assessments from healthcare professionals. Patients tend to underestimate nonadherence out of fear of disapproval. However, this approach can be problematic because it ignores the possibility of a patient having extra medication. For example, chronic conditions are likely to require medication refills before it runs out. In addition, the cutoff value for medication adherence is arbitrarily set. This can create discrepancies when comparing medication adherence between patients.
Measures used for adherence are often subjective, and are not directly related to the patient’s symptoms. A subjective measure can be more reliable, but may not be as accurate as an objective measure. Therefore, it is important to consider the subjective and objective measures when choosing an adherence measure.
Many research studies have been conducted on medication adherence. Different tools have been validated to measure medication adherence in different conditions and circumstances. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized two types of measures for medication adherence: subjective and objective.
Knowing your body’s metabolism will help you take medicine in the proper dose at the correct time. Studies show that 1.3 million people visit the emergency room each year because of an adverse reaction to a drug. Of these, one in 250 will end up in the hospital and need additional treatment. The most common adverse drug events are related to blood thinners, antibiotics, diabetes drugs, and opioid analgesics. Understanding your metabolism is crucial for getting the right dose of opioid medication.
Drug metabolism is a complex process. Drugs undergo several chemical changes in the liver and in the bloodstream. The metabolites may be inactive or similar to the original drug. The main goal of these metabolic reactions is to make the drug more soluble in water than its precursors. The first phase of drug metabolism involves adding functional polar groups to the molecules. These polar groups help the drug enter the body and undergo further metabolism. Later, these molecules are excreted.
The metabolism of drugs occurs in living organisms and depends on the type of enzymes involved. This process affects the duration of drug action, multidrug resistance, and the effectiveness of chemotherapy for cancer. Drugs may also interact with one another when they are substrates for enzymes involved in xenobiotic metabolism. The metabolism of xenobiotics will determine whether a pollutant will be degraded or persist in the environment. This metabolism also affects a compound’s ability to cause adverse effects.
The liver plays a major role in drug metabolism. It is responsible for transforming prodrugs into active metabolites. It also breaks down prodrugs into inactive compounds. This process is called “first-pass effect” and occurs when the drug enters the liver and is metabolized in the liver before being excreted in the blood.
The age and health of older adults can influence the effectiveness of some medicines. As a result, the dosage and frequency of medications may change over time. Additionally, older adults may need different medicines than younger adults. If you are unsure about the correct medication regimen for your age, contact your healthcare provider. You can also get more information about medicine use and aging by visiting the National Institute on Aging (NIA) website.
Taking medicine on an empty stomach
Many types of medications should be taken on an empty stomach, because food in the stomach affects their absorption. For example, some antibiotics can be less effective in an acidic environment. Food can also bind to certain medications, decreasing their absorption into the bloodstream. Generally, it is recommended to take these medicines on an empty stomach in the morning, and to avoid eating anything other than water for 30 minutes before taking them.
Some medicines must be taken on an empty stomach, while others should be taken before or after meals. It is important to follow the directions on the bottle and consult a pharmacist for advice. Some medications are ‘as needed’, which means they are only taken when they are needed, rather than every day. These include pain killers for conditions like allergies and constipation. Taking them on an empty stomach is important for their safety and effectiveness.
For example, the thyroid drug levothyroxine should be taken one-half to one hour before breakfast. But this doesn’t mean you should take all your medications in the morning if you’re prone to morning sickness. Some medicines can be taken right before bedtime as well. The drug Sustiva, for instance, regulates absorption and is more effective when taken on an empty stomach.
However, taking these medications is not a good idea if you’re pregnant. The drug may cause you to experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Your doctor may not be able to fully cure you without taking the medication. However, you can minimize your risk of complications by making sure you follow the directions carefully.
Preventing medication errors
Preventing medication errors is an important component of maintaining a high-quality medication program. Medication errors occur anytime and anywhere. However, some factors increase the risk of a medication error. To avoid errors, make sure to understand the potential side effects of the drug. Also, ask questions and share concerns with your health care provider.
Age, weight, and medication history are important factors to consider. Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to medication errors. It is vital to tell pharmacists about a patient’s age and weight before prescribing any medicine. This is important because most drugs are prescribed based on body weight. Liver and kidney function are also factors to consider when prescribing medication. Patients with impaired kidney and liver function should be given lower dosages of their medication. This is because an improper dosage can cause toxicity.
Incorrectly administered medicine costs the healthcare system about $40 billion annually. These mistakes negatively impact patient satisfaction and contribute to a growing lack of trust in the healthcare system. To prevent these errors, pharmacists should review a patient’s medical history to identify any possible drug interactions. They should also look up any allergies the patient may have. Finally, pharmacists should check a patient’s compliance with their medication.
Using a digital medication dispenser can reduce error rates in pharmacies. It is also recommended that patients double-check any prescription before taking it. In addition, pharmacists should ensure that they have a correct prescription before dispensing it. If they cannot find a drug, they can call the prescriber for clarification.