At Summa Pain Care Centers in Arizona, we pride ourselves on working to reduce the painkiller addiction that is a major problem occuring throughout the United States. Our approach to chronic pain management is finding the source of pain and working to correct that, instead of throwing pills at it. Some people might be afraid of this approach, but we are finding more and more ways to stop pain instead of masking it.
Some individuals are not suitable candidates for interventional therapy or physical therapy. In these cases, they would benefit from ongoing opioid analgesics. An example of this would be a senior with multiple degenerative and arthritic pains, but also multiple medical conditions that limit treatment options. Chronic opioid therapy, in low and controlled doses, can help people like this remain functional and maintain a better quality of life.
However, opioids are not the best option for all patients, and they should be used selectively. In the past, patients were given high dose opioid medications under the guise of compassion with disregard of the detrimental effects of these medications. Thankfully this trend is over, and future addiction and dependency will be avoided.
For those patients that come to Summa Pain Centers on medications, we offer opioid detoxification after our treatment plans are complete. We want our clients to regain their lives, on their own terms, never again scheduling the day around a pill bottle.
Now, as we age, the likelihood of being on any type of medication is increased. Whether you are taking narcotics or not, there are many things to keep in mind when taking multiple medications.
Here are 5 simple tips to keeping track of your medications.
1. Keep a Detailed List
Keeping track of all of your medications is not only important to you, but serves to protect your family and medical professionals. You want to keep a detailed list that is made available to a family member in case of an emergency. Be sure to include any over-the-counter or natural medications you may also be taking, along with the dose. Many medications can interact negatively with one another, and it is important for medical professionals to be aware of what and how much you are taking of each medication.
A detailed list is also helpful when refilling your prescriptions. It will help keep yourself organized and your medications always filled. It is never fun to get stressed over a last minute refill. Try sticking to the same pharmacy to also not confuse your orders.
Many people also find pill boxes to be especially helpful when taking multiple medications. Some people need multiple boxes, especially if the doses of a medication are different from day to night.
2. Set Alarms
Whether the alarm is on your phone, watch or alarm clock, it is wise to set one or several alarms to help you remember to take your medications. Especially if you have multiple doses taken at varying times, alarms will help you not stray from your routine.
If technology is not your best friend, then use sticky notes with bright colors in various locations in your home. Many people like to remind themselves on their bathroom mirror or refrigerator door. You may also want to hang a calendar with your reminders posted there.
3. Communicate with your Doctors
Staying in communication with your doctor is key to receiving the best results. Almost all medications have potential side effects, so it is important to report anything out of the ordinary to your doctor. There are often alternatives to the medications you’ve been prescribed, and you can always ask if there are any options to minimize the number of medications you are taking. You might be surprised to find that are many other options to try.
If you are not satisfied with the level of care you are currently receiving from you doctor, it doesn’t hurt to shop around for a second opinion. Especially if you are in pain, you may consider setting up an appointment with a specialist to be sure that you are getting the proper treatment. There are many alternatives to medication to try that might in fact help reduce the number of medications you are taking.
Taking multiple daily medications can become cumbersome and frustrating if you are not well-organized. It is common to need to take more medications as you age, so it is best to get in the habit of being on top of your medications. Take charge of your health from the beginning and enjoy your golden years without worry.
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