While following a medication schedule, we are required to take the prescribed medicines in the correct way and dosage, at the right time, and at the specified frequency. But the struggle to stick to a medication schedule is all too real. It is common for people to forget to take their medication dosage on time or stop it altogether despite its prescription. Although common, the practice of irregular medication dosage can be damaging to our health. Not taking the dose as and when prescribed affects our recovery time and prolongs the illness, and, in some cases, can even be the cause of death!
Negative Effects Of Skipping Medication On Your Recovery
There can be multiple reasons for not taking medicines as prescribed. Some people might skip or stop taking the medication intentionally, while others might miss it because they simply forgot to take it on time. Either way, not being regular with your dosage has definite harmful effects on your health in the long term. Have a look at some of the risks and adverse effects that arise from skipping the medication below:
Affects Treatment’s Effectiveness:
Missing a dose can weaken the effect of medication, therefore affecting the effectiveness of the treatment. A missed dose can also lead to a longer treatment or even require a more potent dosage prescription, as it gives the infection a window to attack. One of the most common examples of such a case is antibiotics. Missing a dose can prolong the infection and even make you resist antibiotics in the long run.
Additional complications can also arise because of not taking medicine regularly. For example, a minor infection or common flu can become a severe disease if not treated properly on time with proper medication. For instance, hypertension can lead to a heart stroke if left untreated.
Missed Time Window:
Medical treatments work on the belief that a stitch in time saves nine. That’s why it is essential to recognize the symptoms early and treat them with proper medication to prevent future flare-ups. In addition, catching on to the disease during the golden time window is very important in ailments like auto-immune diseases.
If you stop your medications cold turkey, this could lead to you experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Going through such withdrawal can take you a few steps back in your journey to total recovery. This can happen because when the body is accustomed to taking a specific dosage of medicines over a long time, it becomes dependent on it. And suddenly cutting off the supply can lead to various side effects like nausea, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, and headaches.
What To Do If You Miss Your Dose?
Stopping a treatment due to doubt about its effectiveness or high costs must be discussed with your respective health professionals instead of suddenly stopping it on your own. However, if the dose is missed by mistake, one can take the following measures to get back on th prescribed medication routine:
- Know your medicines. One should, at first, know the details about the type of medication recommended to one to decide on the correct course of action to take to continue the medication. Refer to the instructions that are given in the prescription too.
- Note how late you are with your dosage. If it has only been an hour or two since you missed your dose, it is usually safe to take it immediately and then continue with the next one at its regular time. However, if you are late with your meds for more than a few hours, it is advisable to skip it altogether and wait until the next dose has to be taken to continue your regular prescription.
- Never double dose. It is rarely a good idea to double your dosage the next time you are due to take the meds to compensate for the missed one.
- Consult a medical professional. In case of doubt, always contact any trusted pharmacist or medical worker for advice before continuing the treatment.
- Do not stop abruptly. If you want to get off any long-term medication, don’t make a sudden shift. Instead, slowly moderate your dosage under professional medical guidance and slowly taper down the dosage to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.
How To Stick To A Strict Schedule To Take Meds?
We may find ourselves in a loop of forgetting to take our medications and getting stuck into an irregular medication pattern with no respite to the ailments in sight. To break this cycle, we must take steps to be disciplined with our medication schedules. You can implement the suggestions given below to achieve the same.
- Form a Routine: Associate your timings to take the medicines with any of your daily activities, like brushing your teeth or meal timings.
- Set Alarms: You can set alarms on your phones to remind you to take your pills every day at the same time.
- Use Pill Organisers: Organize your pills according to the days and timings in a pill container to avoid confusion or missing any dose. Make sure to refill the organizer every week.
- Timely Restock: Always have some extra stock stashed aside for emergencies to avoid any breaks in your medication.
- Maintain a Calendar: Keep an updated pill calendar to track the medicine refill stock, timings, and doctor appointments for prescription revision.
- Keep Pills Visible: Place your pills in a place where they are easily visible in plain sight so that you keep them in mind.
Recovering from an infection or any other medical illness is an arduous process for our bodies. Adding to it, keeping a constant track of your medications to take them on time poses a challenge. Nevertheless, it is crucial to take your medicines regularly without missing any daily dose for your recovery. Because skipping on a dosage not only backtracks your healing but also leads to further bigger complications. The irregular medication also makes it harder to carry out an efficient treatment with a minimum dosage, forcing doctors to prescribe a stronger dose for a prolonged time which may lead to other side effects.