If your doctor prescribes medication for you, there are serious health concerns if the dosage is neglected and you decide not to take your medication. Medication adherence — taking your medication as prescribed — is important so your condition doesn’t get worse and lead to more severe injury, illness, or even death. The last case is what doctors are trying to avoid, but your doctor cannot make you take your medication.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that not adhering to your medication causes 30 to 50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures, leading to 125,000 deaths. According to the CDC, medication is not taken up to 50 percent of the time, and for chronic diseases, medication is stopped or lessened after six months of taking it.
Why Are Medications Not Being Taken as Prescribed?
Good question. Here are several reasons why patients have chosen to opt-out or quit their medication:
- No Follow-Up: After a medication is prescribed, not all physicians require a follow-up. Sometimes that is on you as the patient, and many patients do not schedule the follow-up to discuss how the medication is affecting them.
- Not Following Instructions: Simply disregarding the instructions is one of the most common ways to not take your medication as prescribed. Patients can incorrectly follow instructions for a number of reasons, from not understanding the directions to trying to manage unpleasant side effects to getting frustrated when the medication doesn’t seem to be working.
- Cost Factor: Refilling or filling a prescription can be difficult on a person’s finances. However, foregoing your medication because of financial obligations isn’t okay. Speak with your doctor about cheaper, generic brands of medication or various payment plans if you’re worried about the cost of your prescription.
Eight Tips to Help Take Your Medication
No, your doctor may not be with you every step of the way in trying to get you to take your medication, but these tips certainly can. The following are eight easy tips that allow you flexibility in ways to better remember if you’ve taken your medication:
- Take your medicine at the same time every day.
- Associate taking your medication with a daily routine or task (for example, brushing your teeth in the morning or at a meal time).
- Keep a calendar on your phone or with your medication to record each time you have taken a dose.
- Use a weekly pill container.
- If you have decided to use the pill container, refill it at the same time each week.
- Set a reminder on your phone to take your medication.
- On travel adventures, make sure to bring enough of your medication in addition to a few extra doses in case of unexpected delays.
- If flying, keep all medication in your carry-on or personal bag. You don’t have to worry about access, and also the temperature is regulated in the cabin versus the cargo hold.
Are Prescription Errors a Form of Medical Malpractice?
They can be. If you’re following your prescription and experiencing injury or illness, it could be due to the negligence of a doctor or pharmacist. Various issues with prescriptions could fall under malpractice, including:
- Prescribing the wrong medication (kind and dosage)
- Receiving medication that was meant for someone else
- Receiving unnecessary medication from a misdiagnosis
- Technical failure in equipment that caused incorrect dosage
- Failure to warn patients of side effects
- Failure to prevent harmful side effects due to interactions between drugs and/or allergies
In some of these events, there are multiple health professionals who could be responsible for any side effects you may have suffered.
Hire a Muncie Medical Malpractice Attorney
It can be extremely challenging and discouraging if you are trying to fight malpractice on your own. That is why there are skilled attorneys in Muncie who can do the heavy lifting for you. If you have experienced injury or illness due from your prescription(s), please call the attorneys at Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation, or contact us online.