Understanding medication adherence: Why is it important?

Understanding medication adherence: Why is it important?

By: Irene Tussy

Doctors prescribe medication all the time, yet actually taking medication as instructed may not be as common for patients. So, what does it mean to be prescribed medication with specific instructions, and why is it important to take the medicine we are prescribed? What will happen if the medications we are prescribed are not taken properly? These questions can all be answered by focusing on one main idea: medication adherence. Medication adherence is the act of taking medications as they are prescribed and following the medication plan that you and your doctor(s) have made.

The concept of medication adherence is important for a multitude of reasons, all of which will allow your medication treatment plan to be as effective as possible. Most importantly, adherence allows your medications to work properly. Most medications take about 4-6 weeks to start working. Therefore, it is important to be patient, keep taking your medication, and allow it to have the proper time to perform as expected.

There are many reasons for non-adherence, including denial, embarrassment, or simply just forgetting to take your medication. Failing to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor increases the risk of your condition becoming worse, can diminish your quality of life and can increase the possibility of your return to a clinic or hospital. So, it is important to make a medication plan that may be easily implemented into your daily life and to make a conscious effort to adhere to it!

Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of medication adherence, there are many easy habits you can form to be consistent with your meds. These habits include (but are not limited to) pairing medications with something you do every day, using a weekly pill box, enrolling in an automatic refill program, and having prescriptions mailed to your home. Being consistent with these habits will decrease the chance of non-adherence and allow you to find success in your medication plan.

If you or someone you know is struggling with medication adherence, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Psychotherapy & Psychiatric Services. Contact our Manhattan, NY or Paramus, NJ offices respectively at (201)368-3700 or (212)722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit https://counselingpsychotherapynjny.com
Reference: https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatment/Mental-Health-Medications/Medication-Adherence

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