Organized by the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec, the Pharmacy Awareness Week 2018 aims to raise awareness about pharmacy through March 19. This year, find out why it’s so important to follow through with your treatment.
Too many people who begin a course of treatment for a chronic illness give up along the way. This can happen for many reasons, such as unpleasant side effects, or maybe they don’t notice the benefits or think they’re already cured. The consequences of stopping treatment, however, can be very serious in the short and long term.
Find out how to team up with your pharmacist to overcome any obstacles you may encounter along the way and to make sure you see your treatment through to the end. importante
Understanding the purpose and length of your treatment
To stay motivated and stick with your treatment, you’ll need to understand how the illness is attacking your body and how the treatment helps. For example, treatments for chronic illnesses focus on reducing symptoms and preventing or delaying complications. If you stop treatment, these may occur more quickly, which could have a major impact not only on your quality of life, but also on your life expectancy.
When you see your doctor, make sure you fully understand how long your treatment is meant to last: is a cure possible or will you have to be on medication for the rest of your life?
Don’t hesitate to ask questions, but also be sure to voice any concerns or fears. That way, your doctor or pharmacist can tailor your treatment to your needs and preferences.
Most importantly, never stop taking prescribed medication without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Stopping abruptly could cause you undesirable side effects and could even be dangerous to your health.
Follow the recommended dosage
Dosage is the amount and frequency you take of a medication. For example, you may be told to take a 500 mg tablet twice a day, at breakfast and suppertime. Your prescription may also include specific instructions, such as taking medications with food or on an empty stomach. These instructions are important because they can affect the medication's effectiveness and the incidence of any side effects.
If you are having trouble following the dosage for your medication, talk with your pharmacist. He or she may have some tips or suggest adjustments. For instance, maybe you can take your medication before you go to bed, rather than when you get up.
To get all the benefits of your treatment and avoid the risk of unpleasant side effects or toxic reactions, nerver adjust the dosage yourself. Instead, talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you fell your dosage requires adjustment
Preventing and treating side effects
Most medications are well tolerated. If side effects occur, they usually appear at the beginning of the treatment and disappear on their own as your body gets used to the medication. Your pharmacist can advise you on how to prevent or treat any typical side effects.
Always be sure to ask your pharmacist for advice if side effects cause you discomfort. Your pharmacist may suggest a solution or contact your doctor if a change in treatment is required.
Follow all other instructions
Doctors will often recommend additional actions, such as dietary changes, weight loss, quitting smoking or regular exercise.
To keep illness in check and maintain quality of life, you need to follow these recommendations over the long-term too, since they are just as important as medications. Benefits are likely to disappear quickly if you give up along the way.
Be sure tell to your pharmacist if your doctor recommends lifestyle changes. His or her advice and support will help you reach your goals and maintain your long-term health.
Continuing your treatment just got easier
Uniprix-affiliated pharmacists-owners offer various services to make it easier to continue your treatment, including online renewal of your prescriptions, the Uniprix mobile app and the personalized prescription renewal service: My Renewal Plan. The lab staff make sure your medications are ready when you stop by the pharmacy.
Your pharmacist is an accessible health professional. You can plan a meeting to ask him or her questions or advice. Head to your lab counter to make an appointment and to find out more about all the services your pharmacy offers.
When you follow your treatment properly, you maximize your chances of maintaining your quality of life for as long as possible. Your pharmacist is your ally and will support you in your treatment and in reaching your health goals!
Learn more: the Pharmacy Awareness Week 2018