Primary Care: Why You Should Take All Medications as Prescribed

Primary Care New York, NY

Wondering why seeing your primary care physician regularly is so important? Because they are your first point of contact when you are experiencing any problems with your health. You can make appointments with your primary care physician for something as simple as a cold or for something as complex as a chronic health condition.

Primary care: Why is it necessary to take all medications as prescribed?

When you need to take medications prescribed by your primary care physician in order to improve your health, you are prescribed a certain dosage and a certain amount of your medication for a reason. Any medications you are prescribed are based on you taking all the medication given to you and if you do not, you will not experience the full benefit of that medicine. This can potentially make your situation even worse.

According to the FDA, medication is not taken as prescribed 50% of the time. Some reasons to use medications according to your primary care physician's directions include:

Proper medication use reduces risks

Using multiple drugs for different health issues or the same disease can pose certain risks. Interactions between drugs may intensify adverse effects, increase the potency of a prescription, or even render the active ingredients inactive altogether. When taking more than one medicine simultaneously, it is important to learn proper use to ensure effectiveness.

Patients need to inform their doctor about their current prescriptions. They can avoid medical issues and unpleasant reactions by discussing new or existing drugs, vitamins, or over-the-counter supplements with the doctor or pharmacist. It is always good to check with your doctor to know which drugs work together and will not become less effective when paired.

It is a smart move

For a good reason, prescription medications are only accessible under the supervision of a doctor. Prescription compliance policies are in place to safeguard patients’ health and rights. Patients and the person from whom they get unprescribed pharmaceuticals run the danger of facing penalties or possibly prison time if they are caught using them incorrectly.

Compliance means effectiveness

Prescription drug instructions are the result of a great deal of investigation. Each drug is designed to be taken strictly according to prescription. The full effects of a drug might be lost if patients skip numerous doses. For example, failure to take the whole course of antibiotics may cause the illness to return and become worse.

Why do some people not take their medications as directed?

There are a few different reasons why someone may not take their medications as prescribed by their primary medical care physician. Some of the more common reasons are because they simply forget, they do not fully understand the directions, the medication has unpleasant side effects, they want to make the medicine last, or they do not believe that the medicine is working for them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that non-adherence causes 30 to 50% of chronic disease treatment failures and 125,000 deaths per year in this country.

What can happen to those who stop taking their medications?

Since it is possible for someone who stops taking their medication too soon to experience serious health effects, this is strongly discouraged. Instead, patients are encouraged to first discuss the reason why they want to stop taking the medication with their primary medical care physician. If the physician decides that they can stop taking the medication, it may be necessary for them to wean themselves off the medication in order not to experience any serious health effects.

Tips for taking medications as prescribed

For patients who find it difficult to take all of their prescribed medications exactly as they are supposed to, the following tips may help. Since it is important to take medications at the same time every day, they can be taken during a normal everyday routine, like brushing teeth. Using a pill container helps to keep medications organized and should be refilled at the same time every week. Purchasing a timer cap can help remind patients when to take their next dose.

Ready to make an appointment?

Are you in need of a primary care appointment? If you are, simply give us a call right now so we can get you scheduled at a time that is convenient for you. Your health is important and when you are taking medications, it is likely that you have questions about the type of medications you are taking. Please be sure to write them all down and bring them with you so you can get the answers you need.

Get more information here: or call Marina Gafanovich, MD at (212) 548-3263

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