If you take prescription drugs, you should check in with your doctor regularly about any medications you are taking – both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and supplements. Your annual wellness visit is a great time to talk to your doctor about this. It is also important to discuss your medications with your doctor after any hospitalization to review any new medication or changes to current medications. The National Institute on Aging recommends talking to your doctor about the items below when discussing the medications you are taking.
Discuss all your medications
Talk to your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including OTC drugs, vitamins and herbal remedies. Mixing certain OTC medications with your prescriptions can be dangerous and lead to serious health issues. By talking about all the medications and supplements you take, your doctor can help you understand if you need to take different medications or if you should not take certain medications together. Talk to your doctor before you start taking any new medications or supplements so you can make sure they are compatible with your current prescriptions.
After discharge from the hospital
When you’re in the hospital, the hospital might have you stop taking some medications, start new ones or change the strength of your medications. When you are discharged from a hospital stay, talk to your doctor about your medications if the hospital asked you to take a similar medication to one you’re already taking or if changes in your health will affect your medications.
Talk about the dosage or effects of the medication
As you get older, your body’s response to certain medications can change. You may feel as though some medications don’t seem to work as well as they used to. Even if you have been taking a medication for years, you may need to review with your doctor to see if you need to adjust your dosage or change to a different medication.
Mention new or recurring side effects
When you start taking a new medication, you can sometimes feel side effects as you get used to the medication. These side effects usually go away, but if you notice that they don’t or that they seem to get worse, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may recommend you switch to a new medication, make changes to the dose you are taking or stop taking the medication. Don’t stop taking a medication, however, without talking to your doctor first. Stopping a medication suddenly may worsen your symptoms.
Keep a list of your medications
Keep track of your medications by writing them down or using a chart so you can understand the dosage and the times of day when you need to take them. You can also use the Sharecare app to keep track of all your medications. Select the Track icon and scroll to select Medications, which will ask you to add medications. You can also set up alerts for Sharecare to remind you when it’s time to take your medication.
Blue Cross of Idaho members have access to Sharecare, an app to help you live healthier by getting personalized tips for exercise, healthy eating and more. It is not recommended you download the app directly from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Please visit bcidaho.sharecare.com to download. You can then create your Sharecare account, take the RealAge® Test and enjoy the many resources available to you.
Posted: April 27, 2022