How to Manage Your Medicatoins


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Roberta Carson, creator of ZaggoCare Systems, and Christy S Harris, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute discuss tips for cancer patients to manage the multiple medications they may be taking.

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How to Manage Your Medicatoins

  1. 1. MEDICATIONMANAGEMENT TIPS AND TOOLSRoberta Carson, Creator of ZaggoCare ® SystemChristy S. Harris, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP
  2. 2. MEET ROBERTA AND CHRISTYRoberta Carson, creator of Christy S. Harris, PharmD,ZaggoCare® Systems Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 2
  3. 3. WHY WATCH THIS PRESENTATION? Over 50% of Americans do not take medications as prescribed Medication non-adherence can lead to adverse health-related events or even death Up to 50% of patients misunderstand dosage instructions on prescription labels 3
  4. 4. KEEPING ORGANIZED USING A MEDICALNOTEBOOK Notes during appointments Symptom tracking Medications prescribed Test results 4
  5. 5. WHY, WHAT, WHEN AND HOW Questions I need to know about every medication I am taking:  Why am I taking this medication?  What is the medication’s name and dose?  When do I start and stop the medication?  How do I know if the medication is working?  What side effects I might have?  What steps should be taken if I have a side effect? 5
  6. 6. SPECIFIC MEDICATION INFORMATION Exactly what times to take the medication How the medication should be taken Any foods or beverages to avoid Any concerns over:  Alcohol  Sun exposure  Driving 6
  7. 7. SPECIFIC MEDICATION INFORMATION What to do if the medication is vomited What to do if a dose is missed Any special storage or disposal requirements If the patient has difficulty swallowing:  Liquid form available?  Can pills be crushed?  Can capsules be opened? 7
  8. 8. SPECIFIC MEDICATION INFORMATION Any potential adverse reactions with other medications being taken including  Over-the-counter  Herbal supplements  Vitamins  Nutritional supplements For complicated medication regimens:  Can the schedule be arranged to minimize the number of times each day I need to take medications? 8
  9. 9. TIPS FOR FILLING PRESCRIPTIONS Write down the name and dose at the doctor’s office and double check before paying Try to fill all prescriptions at one pharmacy Ask the pharmacist about possible drug interactions including those with non-prescription medications/supplements Do not wait until the last minute to fill prescriptions 9
  10. 10. IF THE PATIENT IS IN THE HOSPITAL Check with the attending nurse before all medications are given to make sure they are correct If the patient takes medications that are not available at the hospital (clinical trial drugs, special compounds, rare medications, etc.), bring the medications with you and give them to the nursing staff to store and dispense  Make sure you take your medications back home with you when you are discharged 10
  11. 11. STORAGE AND DISPOSAL Do not store medications where they will be exposed to heat and humidity Properly dispose of unwanted or expired medications:  Do not flush down the toilet  Do not throw away in the trash if children or pets could get to it  Cities and towns often run an annual “take-back” day  Go to for information 11
  12. 12. ORGANIZING THE MEDICATIONS Use a weekly pill container with compartments for each day 12
  13. 13. MEDICATION CHART MEDICAT Pill Pill Inha Shot Mass Pain ION A B ler C age Med NAME Legs A If the patient is taking TREATM ENT Bloo d Seiz ures Breath ing Blood Thinne Blood clot Pain multiple medications pres r prevent FOR sure ion As throughout the day, INSTRUC With With Rotate shot neede d, no wate more use a medication chart TIONS r food locatio n than 4x/da y Download and MED. Sma ll Rou nd Small Descripti whit blue yellow customize your own on e pill pill pill chart at 6:00 am Ο Ο Ο 8:00 am Ο 10:00 am Ο Noon Ο Ο 2:00 pm Ο 4:00 pm Ο 6:00 pm Ο Ο 13 8:00 pm Ο
  14. 14. MEDICATION REMINDERS Set up a system to ensure medications are taken at the correct time  Leave the medication where you will see it and take it  Set alarms on cell phones and digital watches  Buy a pill container with a built-in alarm 14
  15. 15. Thank You!For more information, go to or 15