On Your Health

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Take Your Medication

By Dr. Mary Ann Bauman, family medicine

Medication can be an important part of treatment for serious infections or chronic conditions. They can help relieve pain and lift depression. They can also fight some of the nation's leading causes of death and disability. Today's medications can help control many common chronic diseases and lower the complications that go along with them. Medication can play an important role in helping keep people out of the hospital. Why do so many people take their medication incorrectly or not at all? According to numerous researchers, more than 1 in 4 Americans do not take their medication as prescribed. Listen as Dr. Mary Ann Bauman explains what you can do to take your medication correctly.
What if I told you that there was a very simple way to save a hundred and twenty-five thousand lives a year, decrease hospital admissions by 10 to 25 percent and save 177 billion of our health care dollars? Wouldn't you be interested? Wouldn't you want to participate? Well you can, simply by taking your medications. Yes, medication adherence is a horrible problem in this country. Fifty percent of people don't take their medications as prescribed. 24 percent of people don't even fill their heart medications a week after getting out of the hospital for a heart problem. Medications save lives. The statin medications for cholesterol we know they decrease heart attacks and strokes. Yet sixty percent of people quit taking them. There are lots of reasons why people quit. Maybe it's expensive. Maybe you don't want to take it. Maybe you don't know why Maybe you think you're taking too many medications. Maybe your friend told you not to take it. Maybe you saw something on the internet. Lots of reasons why but it's causing major health issues for you and for others. so what can you do? First thing Know your medication. You can't go by the blue pill, the yellow pill, the green pill. Know what they are and what they're for you know with generics we don't know what that color pill is. Go over your medications with your doctor and your pharmacist to let you know if there are interactions you know what's going on. Bring your medications to your doctor's office when you come, in the bottles. Sometimes have seen a specialist and you may have been started on something new. Your doctor needs to know about it. Use those pill boxes so you can put a week's out. It's easy to forget medications. You don't want to do it. And here's a pet peeve of mine. If you stop a medication let your doctor know. Sometimes I think somebody's taking it for three months and they come in for their appointment and they haven't even started the medication. Your doctor may tell you why you need it. may switch it to something different. May tell you need to taper the medications. All these things will make a difference and who knows by following the simple things you may be 10 those 125 thousand lives saved this next year. Think about it.

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