When you are sick or have a health condition that requires prescribed medication, it’s given to you for a reason. But it’s also quite common to find that the medicine you are taking makes you feel better within a day or two of taking it.
You might be surprised at how many people decide that because they are feeling better, they don’t need the prescribed medicine anymore. Even if they have a few days left in their prescription, they simply stop taking everything under the false assumption that they are all better.
Unfortunately for most of these people, this causes a relapse in their symptoms and they get even sicker. There’s a reason your doctor prescribed the specific medication they did and the exact amount that went with it. Along with that reason, there are ten more here for why you need to complete your dosage as directed.
10 Reasons Why You Should Always Take Your Medicine as Prescribed
1. Many diseases are silent creepers. Sure, you feel great now. But you have no idea what may be going on in your body silently. Problems like high blood pressure are even considered “normal” for the majority of people who have them. They rarely cause any symptoms and are only noticeable when you take your blood pressure.
Yet, there’s a reason you have high blood pressure, and that reason is going on inside your body whether you feel it or not. You may not even know you have high blood pressure until you have a stroke or a heart attack.
It’s important to monitor your symptoms, but it’s just as important to control what’s going on inside your body with the medication designed to do the job – if you take it as directed.
2. The side effects aren’t necessarily necessary. If your doctor prescribes you medication but you don’t like the way it makes you feel, talk to them. It’s amazing how many people have white coat syndrome. They get nervous around their physician, no matter how approachable and affable he or she is, and so they are afraid, to be honest. Instead, they’d rather just stop taking the medicine.
If you bring up your concerns with your doctor, chances are there is another medication that may do the same job without the side effects you don’t like.
3. You may not have to pay full price. If the reason you aren’t taking your medication as directed is that you can’t afford it, there may be helpful for you. Many pharmaceutical companies offer free or reduced medications to those who are eligible. You may also be able to purchase your medicine through Canada drugs for a greatly reduced rate. Don’t give up without a fight – it’s your health, which is something you can’t put a price tag on.
4. If you don’t take it as directed, you may be denied coverage. When your doctor prescribes you a medication, it goes on your official record through your insurance company. They also pay attention to if and when you pick up your medication. If you’re not taking your preventative medicine as directed, they may decide to drop your coverage or you may be denied life insurance policies.
5. Your doctor is not the only one out there. Maybe you’re not taking your medicine as directed because you don’t trust that your doctor was right about your problems. Get a second opinion before you simply decide that you don’t need the prescription. If you’re worried about hurting your doctor’s feelings (and you would be surprised how many people this applies to), remember that your health is more important.
6. You could actually get worse. One of the medicines that is commonly not taken as directed is an antibiotic. When you are prescribed antibiotics for strep throat or another illness, the medicine will kill off a lot of the bacteria quickly, helping you feel better within the first couple of days.
The problem is that if you don’t take the full dose, you may have some of those bacteria still hanging around, multiplying. But while they are multiplying, they are also becoming increasingly resistant to the drug that killed off their buddies. Now you’re sick again, and you are going to have a harder time getting over these new, improved, tougher bacteria germs.
7. Your once fixable condition may worsen. When your doctor finds a health problem early enough, it may be something that can be corrected and eliminated with medication. Some patients with chronic conditions find that if they take their medicine as directed, they can slowly reduce their dosage or get rid of it completely.
But if you don’t take the corrective medication, you may find yourself with a permanent prescription when the symptoms become too severe to ignore because your once fixable condition has now worsened.
8. You may be able to minimize your prescriptions. Let’s face it – swallowing horse pills or a dozen pills a day isn’t a piece of cake for everyone. It’s not fun, and it may be keeping you from taking your medicine as directed. But if you talk to your doctor about this concern, you may be able to work together to find a way to minimize your necessary medicine routine.
9. One condition may cause another to deteriorate. If your health condition is precarious, like asthma, not taking your medication to suppress another illness could cause others to flare up. This often happens with rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, asthma, and other chronic conditions.
10. You could die. Ouch. Yes, this is harsh, but it’s also very true. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-adherence to prescription medication of chronic diseases causes approximately 125,000 deaths per year in the United States.
If you are thinking about stopping your prescription medication, talk to your doctor first and get the full picture.
Make Sure You Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Doctors are required to attend multiple years of school, then obtain hundreds of hours of practice in the field, and still keep up with annual continuing credit hours. They probably know more about your body than you do – it’s what they make the big bucks for.
If you don’t trust your doctor enough to follow their orders, find one that you do trust. Your health is stake – gambling on the odds that you don’t really need the dosage your doctor prescribed is a fool’s game that has no winning outcome.