STATEPOINT — While diet and exercise resolutions typically top New Year’s lists, experts say that focusing a few of your resolutions on forming good habits relating to your pharmacy routine can improve your overall health.
Susan Peppers, RPh, vice president, Express Scripts Pharmacy, suggests these resolutions to make the most of your pharmacy care.
Resolve to…ask more questions
Many of us are hesitant to speak up when we have questions about prescribed medications or therapies. Don’t be! Pharmacists have clinical expertise and can play an important role in your whole health.
Resolve to…never miss a dose
The best way to see improvement in both chronic and short-term conditions is to take medication as prescribed — the right dose at the right time in the right way. Try using a pill container or a dose reminder or taking your medication as part of your daily routine, such as brushing your teeth. Talk to your pharmacist about the best time to take your medication.
You should also consider ongoing home delivery — so you never run out of medication due to a missed pharmacy trip. Your prescriptions will be refilled at the right time, so your medicine will always be on hand.
Resolve to…take your medications safely
Taking medication the wrong way or without knowledge of their effects can be dangerous. Read and understand the instructions printed on your prescription label, so you can be sure you’re taking your medicine exactly as intended. For example, taking certain medications on an empty stomach if you’re supposed to take it with a meal can reduce their effectiveness.
You’ll also want to be sure you don’t mix your medication with certain other drugs or alcohol, or even engage in specific activities, like driving, if the label warns you against doing so.
Resolve to…clean out your medicine cabinet
Many people find they’re more likely to take medications properly if they have a well-organized medicine cabinet. Go through and properly dispose of expired medications or those you’re no longer taking. For more information on discarding expired medications, visit express-scripts.com/askyourpharmacist.
Resolve to…check-in with your doctor
Your health can change, and your prescriptions should change along with it. Schedule time at least once annually to go over everything you’re being prescribed. It’s a good chance to talk to your doctor about what’s working, what’s not and what might need adjustments. In turn, keeping all medications at a single pharmacy when possible allows your pharmacist to have the most accurate information to help keep you safe from drug interactions or medication issues. Be sure your physician knows which pharmacy you use.
Resolve to…update your insurance information
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to ensure you have updated insurance information accessible in case you need to reference it. Replace old cards with new ones as soon as you can to save time and reduce confusion when filling prescriptions.
For more medication pharmacy care resources and information, visit www.esrx.com/AskYourPharmacist. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2022!