Saturday, February 15, 2014

Medication Adherence Challenge

The month of February is dedicated to informing and counseling the community on the importance of taking your medication on time and correctly every day. Wingate University School of Pharmacy has created a committee of dedicated students to go out into the community and talk to patients about compliance. Events range from an information booth at the YMCA, seminar to undergraduate students, information session at a local high school, and promoting P1 students to encourage their "e-patients"to take the pledge at

Today a few of my fellow students and I went to the local YMCA and talked to patient's about the importance of taking your medications on time. We passed out cards (like the one below) that have the pledge to take your meds, questions to ask your pharmacist, and a chart to write down a list of your medications. This card is easily stored in your wallet and serves as a reminder and tool to take your medicine!

Script Your Future is an amazing website that has tips and tools to help patients remember to take their medications. There also is information about common diseases states such as Diabetes, Hypertension, and Asthma. You can sign up for text reminders and join a community that will help encourage compliance.
Taking your medications on time is very important. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what to do if you miss a dose. Taking your medicine at the same time every day allows a steady quantity of the medication in your body - so that it can work effectively. When you miss a dose, take a dose at different  times every day, or just don't take your medications at all - you are putting yourself at risk of toxicity, adverse effects, or cause the medication not to work and further complicating your disease.

January 2013, I was diagnosed with Hoshimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune hypothyroid disease, that requires daily medication for the rest of my life. Without taking Levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, my body would not produce any active thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones work on almost every part of the body. When I was told that I would be taking a medication every day for the rest of my life - I was in shock. I know that things come up, get busy, and schedules change - but it is extremely important you take your medicine correctly and on time every day. It was hard for me at first to remember to take my medicine every day, same time, before any meals. I set an alarm on my phone, out the medication on my night stand, and wrote reminders on the fridge. Soon, it became a habit and I don't even think about taking it every day. Make taking your medication a habit and keep yourself healthy.
Counseling at patient at YMCA about taking the Pledge
My friend Julie is a Nurse Practitioner in Orlando, FL and said, "You have no idea how many people who come to the hospital because they are not compliant! Especially with important medications like Coumadin! We need more people out there going out and making a difference so that people will take their medications!"

Don't be nervous to talk to your local Pharmacist about compliance and tips to remembering to take your medications on time and correctly! Your health depends on it! Take the pledge online at