Taking medication can be an every day, life-long thing for some people and not only that, but some people can be on a lot of medication. The most I’ve seen is about 30 items on one prescription. So it made me wonder how some people remember to take all this medication on a daily basis.
Although I’ve been a pharmacy technician for nearly 10 years, I’m not sure I would remember. There are things that can be put in place by the GP or pharmacy to help patients remember, e.g. Dosettes/venalinks can be made up for the patient, or a reminder chart can be printed out with a list of their medications and times they are to be taken. Although there are a few different ways to help patients remember most people seem to have their own way of remembering to take their medication.
After working in a hospital pharmacy over the years I’ve seen lots of different things people do to help them remember to take medication and some seem perfectly logical and some not but each to their own.
A few different things I’ve seen, I once saw patient who had a little bag with one strip of each of her different medications in and she had also cut all the dispensing labels with the directions on off all the boxes and so she had these little cards together with each strip in her little bag.
Some patients feel the need to pop all their tablets from the blister strips in to bottles which can be annoying for us in pharmacy as we can’t use them since they are not in the original container.
Other patients feel the need to cut the ends off all of their boxes and so the strips keep falling out, which can be annoying when you doing a discharge as they all have to be re-boxed and relabelled just for the patient to go home and cut all the ends off again.
Other patients make up their own dosettes (which you can buy from the chemist/supermarket) or have their own printed list of what they are to take. One patient I saw had collected seven bottles and placed one of each of their tablets in each bottle. Creating a dosette type thing but in separate bottles labelled Monday –Sunday.
It’s also quite common for some patients not to know a single thing about their own medication because a relative sorts it all out for them.
Another is some patients keep all their medications together in a plastic tub with a printed list and then take them accordingly.
Another example, I don’t think he will mind me saying, but my grandad keeps all his medications on top of the microwave so he remembers to take them each morning at breakfast time. I have repeatedly told him not to keep them there because of the heat but will he listen.
Whichever method people use to help them remember I suppose it’s not important how they remember, it’s just important that they do.