Taking medication - rules

Whether or not drug therapy is successful depends on how much medication is taken at the right dose, at the right time, and for the prescribed duration. That this is not always the case, studies show: About half of older patients do not take medication or not regularly.

5 guidelines for proper medication

The following five rules for taking medications should always be followed:

  • The doctor's prescriptions regarding dosage and intervals should be observed. Do not put the dose up or down on your own!
  • If your symptoms do not subside, get worse, or if you get any side effects, please see your doctor.
  • Your doctor must also know which other tablets you are taking. This helps him to clarify if interactions between the different drugs are possible.
  • Read the leaflet carefully before taking the medicine. Keep the outer packaging with the package leaflet until the end of treatment.
  • Always store your medication in a cool and dry place, for example in your bedroom.

The right therapy

Medications are given for different reasons. There are different types of therapy:

  • Causal therapy is a causal treatment and means the elimination of the cause of the disease. An example is the antibiotic, which kills bacteria and thus eliminates the cause of the infection.
  • The opposite is the symptomatic therapy, for example, the use of a painkiller for tooth discomfort. Here, the cause - namely the damage to the tooth - not eliminated, but the symptom pain. Chronic conditions such as heart failure or high blood pressure are also treated symptomatically with success, since the cause of the diseases can not be eliminated. For toothache, on the other hand, causal therapy is going to the doctor. Therefore, it always has to be considered which therapy makes the most sense.
  • In a substitution therapy substances are added to the body that are missing or can no longer be produced, and must be partially or completely replaced in this way, such as insulin supplements in diabetes mellitus or a blood donation.
  • A prophylactic therapy, ie the prevention, is always used when the outbreak of a disease is to be prevented, for example, a preventive vaccine or to prevent a deficiency, for example vitamins.

The right dosage form

Nowadays, medicines are available in very different dosage forms such as tablets, film-coated tablets, suppositories, dragees, drops, juice, ointments, patches and much more. Among other things, the following rules apply:

  • Liquid medicines should be shaken frequently before use.
  • Tablets or capsules should not be swallowed while lying down and with sufficient water - otherwise they could get stuck in the esophagus.
  • Never open capsules or mince film-coated tablets. This can significantly affect the way the medicines work. For example, the ingredients of enteric-coated tablets then no longer work because they are destroyed by gastric juice.
  • Medicines should not be taken with fruit juices, coffee, tea or milk.
  • If you are ill with a medication, tell your doctor. In this case, in most cases, a different dosage form can be used.
  • People who are restricted in their mobility, such as rheumatics, may poorly open tablet cans; People whose fingers are trembling often struggle with counting drops. Again, another form of administration often helps to therapy success.
  • If you suffer from dysphagia, you should only order juices or drops if possible.
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