Pills and You

Although you don’t have to be a Suddenly Solo to take prescription medicine, it certainly seems like you do!  I know I take two different meds a day (not including vitamins), and I consider myself to be healthy!   And as we age, it’s likely we will be juggling a few pills on a regular basis to keep performing at our best.  Taking the right medications as a preventative or even part of a palliative routine makes good sense and is nothing to be ashamed of!

If you take several prescription drugs on a regular basis, inquire at your pharmacy about any refill services.  This can help you minimize your trips there.  Another helpful service that some pharmacies offer is pre-packing daily meds together so you don’t have to remember to take medications from several different vials and you can quickly see if you’ve already taken all your pills for the day.

A way to save money on certain prescription pills (you can compare pricing with the free app GoodRX) is to split higher doses of the medications since a 200-mg dose may cost the same as a 100-mg dose.  But before you start down this road, make certain you ask your physician and your pharmacist whether this can be done safely for your specific prescription!  Some pills are scored for easy cleaving, but others are not and this can lead to dangerous over-/under-medicating.  According to Johns Hopkins, here are certain pills you should not split:

  • Extended-release pills
  • Combination tablets that include more than one medication
  • Pills that are coated to minimize stomach irritation
  • Pills that are difficult to swallow due to a bitter taste
  • Powder or gel capsules

If you get the approval to split a pill, purchase a splitter (most are under $10) from your drugstore to get the best and safest results.

According to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, nearly 60% of the prescription medicines taken by patients aren’t needed, so be certain that you aren’t taking medications just out of habit.

 

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