According to the World Health Organization, 50% of people with chronic illness do not comply to the recommended medication nor do they consistently follow the prescribed treatment.
What is medicine adherence?
Medicine adherence is defined as “the extent to which a patient’s behavior corresponds with agreed-upon recommendations from a health-care provider.” This means exhibiting behaviors such as taking the proper medicine dosage at the right frequency, format, and time as prescribed by your doctor. So why is it important?
According to research, a medicine’s efficacy is highly dependent on a person’s compliance to taking it at its prescribed dose and frequency. If there is inconsistency in your treatment, your faster recovery may not result as expected. Inconsistency in following a recommended course of action may seem like an innocent gesture especially if you’re starting to feel better, but not adhering to it can lead to worse health outcomes, unnecessary expenses, and in some rare cases, even lead to critical illness or death.
Examples of non-adherence includes not buying the right medications as recommended, stopping medicine intake mid-treatment, not following directions, etc.
Are you guilty of missing one or two of these behaviors? You’re not alone. Although there are cases where people mistakenly don’t comply with their treatments, there are ways by which one can be more faithful to them.
How can we better comply?
According to the US FDA, here are some practical ways consumers can be more prudent in following a physician-recommended treatment:
- Know the proper dosage and frequency of your treatment – Your doctor prescribed you medicine to be taken at certain times of the day, at certain conditions, etc. and it is key to remember this. Drugs follow a recommended dosage, frequency, and duration as either instructed by your doctor or as detailed in an information leaflet upon purchase.
Make it a habit to check the official website of the medicine for other FAQs and product facts.
|Cough and Cold|
|Solmux Capsule (Original)||https://www.unilab.com.ph/solmux/faqs|
|Solmux Advance Capsule||https://www.unilab.com.ph/solmux-advance/faqs|
|Tuseran Forte Capsule||https://www.unilab.com.ph/tuseran-forte/faqs|
|No Drowse Decolgen||https://www.unilab.com.ph/decolgen-no-drowse/faqs|
|Solmux Forte Suspension||https://www.unilab.com.ph/solmux-adult-suspension/faqs|
|Tuseran Night Syrup||https://www.unilab.com.ph/tuseran-night/faqs|
|Headache, Fever, Flu|
- Follow a routine – At first, you may not be used to taking medicines and or vitamins regularly, but over time it will be easier as long as you follow a schedule. You can make a list or calendar of the day, time, and dosage needed and refer to this as you go. It also helps to set an alarm on your phone to remind you if you need to take something even if you’re on the go.
- Keep a steady supply – Adherence may be hindered by a lack of supply, so it is important to buy the complete quantity of your medications. If you cannot purchase the full quantity at first, you may purchase an initial batch and follow through on the remaining quantity as you can. If you frequent going out of the house, keep your medicines and or vitamins with you so you won’t forget to take them wherever you may be.
- Make them easy to spot – To remind you in taking your medicines and or vitamins, ensure they are found in places you frequent and have access to water. For most this is the kitchen or dining areas, so it is easy to take the medicine before or after eating.
- Communicate openly with your physician – During your consult, raise concerns on possible side effects that may be bothering you, or the complexity of the treatment if it means taking multiple medications with a complex schedule. Your doctor should be able to supply you with alternatives or adjust dosing if you are not comfortable with the treatment at first.
- Be honest – You can tell your doctor if price point is a barrier for you from continuing your medication. The physician should be able to give you alternative treatments and/or medication that is better suited to what you can afford, as what is important is the continuity and or completion of your treatment.
Getting better from sickness entails more than medication. How a person follows a recommended medical treatment also ultimately affects the outcomes. Proper adherence and compliance to a prescribed treatment gives you a good chance of achieving better health results.
Your doctor will always be in the best position to give the appropriate medical advice for your condition. For suspected undesirable drug reaction, seek medical attention immediately and report to the FDA at www.fda.gov.ph and UNILAB, Inc. at UNILAB-1 or email@example.com. Always buy your medicine from your trusted drugstores and retailers.
- Open Journal of Respiratory Diseases, 2014, 4, 73-82, Published Online August 2014 in SciRes.