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Managing your meds

If you are living with an anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder, taking medications can be a necessary component of staying well. As for any medical condition, medications improve your quality of life.

You may have learned by now that it can take a few trials to find the medication or combination of medications that’s right for you, and sometimes adjustments must be made.

It’s important to take your meds as directed – changing the dosage or stopping on your own can cause serious health consequences. Be sure you talk to your doctor about how and when to take your medications and what side effects to watch for.

Here’s some good advice for taking medications from Jane Mountain, MD, author of Beyond Bipolar: Insights for Recovery and Beyond Bipolar: 7 Steps for Wellness.

Ten Quick Tips for Managing Medications

  1. Keep a notebook or computer document listing your medications.
  2. Take a written list of questions when you see your doctor or prescriber.
  3. Know the reason each medication is prescribed.
  4. For questions on how to take medications, for example, with or without food, ask your pharmacist.
  5. Plan ahead when you change your routine so you don’t miss taking medications.
  6. For those medications you take with meals, carry a protein bar with you in case you skip a meal or eat late.
  7. Know the side effects of your medications.
  8. Check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medicines or herbal supplements.
  9. Make certain every doctor you see knows what medicines you are taking.
  10. Use a weekly or daily pillbox to avoid missing a dose.

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