Medication adherence means taking your medications as prescribed by your doctor. It sounds easy, but the American Heart Association estimates that 3 out of 4 Americans do not take their medication as prescribed by a doctor. The painful truth about not taking your medications as prescribed can hurt you even more.
Why do I need to take medication?
With many medications, consistency is key to achieving the best results. The U.S. FDA agrees, saying that poor medication adherence can interfere with the ability to treat many diseases and manage chronic conditions, which could lead to greater complications and a lower quality of life.
If you have ever skipped a dose of your prescription medication, was it due to any of these reasons:
- Were you concerned about side effects?
- Were you not certain the medication was working?
- Have you had trouble paying for your medications?
- Did you forget to take your medication?
Here are tips to ensure you don’t miss a medication dose:
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any side effects you’re worried about or are bothering you. You may need to avoid certain foods, or certain medications may interact with one another.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you think your medication isn’t effective. Perhaps it takes a while before you see the changes you’re looking for.
- Set daily routines. It can be helpful to connect taking the medication with daily activities such as eating meals or going to bed. Keep backup supplies in your briefcase or purse.
- Keep medications where you’ll see them. If you need to take your medication with food, keep it wherever you eat. If you need to take any medications in the morning, store them next to something that’s part of your normal routine, like your toothbrush or your deodorant.
- Use daily dosage containers. These have compartments labeled with the days of the week and various dosage frequencies. You can find them at most pharmacies.
- Maintain a schedule. Write down a schedule that includes the medications you take, how often you take them, and any special directions.
After a dental Surgery
Ways to help with pain:
- Over-the-Counter Medicines: Generally speaking, over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen are all that you will need following your surgery.
- Staying On Top of Pain: It is very important to stay on a strict schedule of medication the first few days following your surgery. Getting behind on medication will result in more pain and may even make it difficult to catch up with pain control again.
- Ice for Swelling: We want you to ice your cheeks for the first 24 hours following surgery, twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off alternating. Managing swelling can help greatly with pain management, and the act of icing may even feel good on its own.
- Rest: Your body was expertly designed with high-tech systems in place to heal – but you have to give it the space and conditions to do so. Rest is one of the most important things you can do to help your body heal faster.
- Salt Rinse the DAY AFTER Surgery: The day after surgery, you should rinse your mouth very gently with a mixture of one cup of warm water and ½ teaspoon of salt. You may do so up to 4 times a day. Designed to gently clean the wound site (but NOT dislodge the blood clot), some patients also feel that the warm water helps with pain relief.
Most often, our patients do not require prescription pain medication post-op. However, in the case that we feel your case calls for such, please keep the following in mind:
- Antibiotics – If we have ordered antibiotics for you, you must take them on schedule and for as long as we prescribe. Never stop antibiotic treatment prematurely without our specific orders.
- Pain-Killers – In the event that you require prescription pain killers, please note that we are required to prescribe these sparingly and in accordance with certain laws. Take only what you need, and take unused pills to a pharmacy for safe disposal – never “keep them around” in your cabinet for future use.
Call us for more information.
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