Why your medications matter

Taking medication exactly as your doctor recommends is not always as simple as it may seem. And, in fact, it can be quite complex. There are many factors that will make you either more or less likely to take your medication. Some of these factors include:

  • how easy it is to take the medication
  • how many times a day you have to take the medication
  • your perception of the benefit of the medication
  • your perception of the risks of not taking the medication
  • the risks of taking the medication including having side effects
  • the total number of pills you take in a day
  • how well you perceive the medication to be working
  • the cost of the medication

Even if you decide you want to take a medication, it is not always easy to remember to take it. After all, we are humans, not elephants. It can be a challenge to make taking medications as part of your daily routine, but before you know it will become as natural as brushing your teeth or having a meal.

Taking medications as prescribed is important. Using medications the right way will help you to:

  • Get the full benefits of your medication. If you take only half the prescribed dose of the medication, you will not get the full benefits of the medication that your doctor recommended.
  • Avoid unwanted side effects. If you take more medication than recommended because you want more of the benefits of the medication, you are at an increased risk of developing side effects. Furthermore, you may not get additional benefits.
  • Avoid medication conflicts. Some medications should not be taken together. If they are, the effect of one or both of the medications may be increased or decreased, leading to potential problems.