3 benefits of taking medicine as directed in Colorado
Have you ever stopped taking antibiotics early because you felt better? Maybe you chose not to continue a prescription because of side effects, inconvenience, or cost. You’re not alone.
“Based on research, we know people take medication as prescribed about 50% of the time,” says Jon Rasmussen, PharmD, who is chief of clinical pharmacy cardiovascular services for Kaiser Permanente Colorado.
While skipping a dose or ending your prescription early can be tempting, it’s much better for your health to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Note: If you’re having side effects that are painful or harmful, call your provider right away to find out the safest course of action.
How following your prescription can boost your health
According to Rasmussen, taking the full course of your prescription will typically offer the following benefits:
1. You’ll enjoy better overall health.
“If you take medication as directed, the chance of better health improves dramatically,” Rasmussen says. The opposite is also true. Researchers have found that adults who don’t take prescriptions as directed have poorer health in general, including more hospitalizations.
2. You’ll help stop the spread of lingering bacteria.
This is especially true when treating an infection. While you may feel well enough to stop taking your antibiotics before your pills run out, harmful bacteria could still be lurking in your system. Finishing your prescription is the best way to make sure you won’t relapse or expose others to infection.
3. You’ll better manage your ongoing conditions.
If you live with a condition like diabetes, high cholesterol, or osteoporosis, you already know the difference the right medication can make. By staying the course with your prescriptions, you can slow down — or even reverse — certain painful or damaging effects associated with your condition.
Having serious issues with your prescription?
Sometimes people stop taking their medication because they can’t afford the cost, or they’re having harmful side effects. However, going off of your prescription too suddenly or too soon can make you sicker. If you’re having issues with cost or side effects, talk to your provider and pharmacist so they can find a solution that works for you.
“It’s important for me to know why you’re not taking your medication,” Rasmussen says. “Once I know that, I can help you figure out a way around it.”
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