Medications are common for treating a host of health issues. Moreover, many people require multiple medications at once to manage their disease or disorder. This is particularly true for the elderly population, which is naturally at risk of more complications as their bodies and minds age. Medication management is the process of coordinating prescription and over-the-counter medications in such a way as to reduce symptoms as much as possible and deliver a high quality of life. Another aspect of medication management is tweaking medications over time. Patients are on the front lines of knowing how medications are affecting them, though medication management is fundamentally a partnership between doctor and patient.
The Importance of Medication Management
The importance of medication management really centers on patient wellbeing. Juggling multiple prescriptions and over-the-counter medications at once is complex. If medications are not managed effectively, people could experience worse symptoms, and the side effects they get from their medications could be worse. The goal is always to have people taking the fewest number of medications at the lowest dose possible to produce the highest quality of life.
Medication management is a type of outpatient treatment that begins with a comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s health history and current medications. Each medication a person is on is carefully analyzed to see what side effects they can cause and whether any of them negatively interact with whatever else a person is taking. Sometimes, people are taking things that are no longer helpful, or they may be missing a key prescription for something that could alleviate their most significant symptoms.
After the initial evaluation comes the longer-term monitoring; by monitoring patient progress and health, medical professionals can gauge any negative interactions between medications and adjust doses as needed. Another aspect pertaining to the importance of medication management is patient knowledge. Most people are not medical experts and do not understand how medications impact their health. Just taking medication at the right time and at the right dosage is difficult for some patients. Medication management helps people navigate their medications effectively.
Benefits of Medication Management
The importance of medication management in mental health is often overlooked. But poor physical health inevitably impacts mental health. Moreover, many medications can cause side effects that interfere with quality mental health. Of course, this becomes especially true for people who are on medications predominantly for mental health concerns. Getting medications wrong or managing them improperly could end up worsening a person’s mental health when the whole point was alleviating their mental health disorder.
In addition to the importance of medication management in mental health outcomes, this approach offers many benefits, such as:
- Personalized care
- More cost-effective
- Ongoing review of health needs versus a once-yearly check-up
- Increased patient engagement with their health
- Improved outcomes
Principles of Effective Medication Management
From the patient perspective, there are a number of things you can do to ensure you are effectively managing your medication. You should lean on the expertise and support of your medical providers. At the same time, since medication management is conducted primarily in the outpatient setting, much of the responsibility falls on you. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of medication management:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions for each prescription
- Get your prescriptions all filled by the same pharmacy
- Refill your prescriptions on time to avoid running out
- Note any new side effects and promptly report them to your doctor
- Post medication reminders on your fridge or medicine cabinet
- Use a pill dispenser
Get Help Managing Your Medications at Insight Into Action Therapy
Insight Into Action Therapy understands the importance of medication management for physical and mental health. Getting the right prescriptions at the right dosages is critical to you experiencing the best health possible. Reach out to us at 703.935.8544 to learn more about medication management.