Medical Adherence

    A doctor holding a drug bottle while explaining the prescription to a patientTwo-thirds of all Americans fail to take any or all of their prescription medications. Almost 29% of Americans stop taking their medications before they run out. Twelve percent (12%) of Americans do not take their medications as prescribed, after they buy the prescription.

    Here are some helpful hints to improve your medication regimen.

    • Always get your medication filled on time and from the same pharmacy so that they can have a complete record of your medication history.

    • Don’t stop taking a prescribed medication because your symptoms have gone away or you feel better. Diabetes and high blood pressure are chronic conditions that will require long-term treatment.

    • Always check with your health care provider before you stop taking a medication.

    • If you are experiencing side effects from your medications, mention it to your health care provider so that he/she can change or modify you medication regimen.

    • If you miss taking a medication, do not double up.

    • If you see multiple physicians, make sure they all know what medicines you are taking.

    • Keep a written record of medications that you are taking. Write down the names, strengths and directions for use. Keep this record with you at all times.

    • Do not share or borrow medications from anyone else.

    • Store your medications in a cool, dry place. Always check the expiration date to make sure your medications are not expired.

    • If you have diabetes and/or high blood pressure, check with your pharmacist before you buy over-the-counter medications. Some of these medications may increase your blood pressure and blood sugar.

    By Dr. James R. Gavin, BDO Diabetes Expert

    Dr. Gavin is Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA and at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN. He also served as President and CEO for MicroIslet, Inc. of San Diego, CA. Dr. Gavin is the past president of the American Diabetes Association and past chairman of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences.

    Dr. Gavin graduated from Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., in 1966 with a degree in chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Emory University in 1970 and his M.D. degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1975, following a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. He was president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA from 2002-2004.

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