Help with administering medication
We’ve put together a few tips to help you or your loved one with administering medication.
1. Organising and planning medication
It’s a really good idea to write a plan of all your or your family member’s current medications and the times allotted to take them. Keep a copy of the list in your wallet or handbag so it’s ready to take to appointments with you. It might also be worth noting down any allergies or intolerances.
Alongside the name of each medication you could consider writing:
- What it’s for
- When it should be taken
- The dosage
- Any instructions
- How often it needs to be re-ordered (e.g. every 4 weeks)
If the medication changes, remember to update your plan.
If you or your loved one is prescribed new medication, don’t forget to ask about any side effects or instructions about when to take it and if it might be affected by other medications, alcohol or food.
The electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC)
has useful information about most medications. You might also want to ask your GP the following:
- What is the medication for?
- How long do I need to take it?
- Where should I store it?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
- What should and shouldn’t I take them with, such as alcohol or food?
- Is it okay to take other things with it, like painkillers or indigestion tablets?
Keep any leaflets or information about the medication in a safe place for future reference.
2. Medication reminders
If you or your loved one has a few medications to take each day at different times you could ask your pharmacist to write out a daily timetable. Chemists also usually sell pill organisers or boxes with labelled compartments for different days of the week or times of day.
- You could set alarms on your phone to remind you when to take or re-order your medication.
- The NHS has an app called Echo that can be downloaded and programmed to remind you about taking medication.
- Perhaps you could write reminders on your calendar or on a note on your fridge or bedside table.
- Often combining taking medication at the same time as a part of your daily routine - like brushing your teeth - serves as a memory aid.
3. Taking the stress out of medication
Make sure you or your loved one always has enough medication, especially if there’s a bank holiday or weekend coming up as this might delay getting medication.
You might be able to get regular repeat prescriptions through the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), which lets you pick up your prescription at a local pharmacy. Ask your GP or pharmacist for more details. You or your loved one might also be able to have medication delivered directly to your/their home.
You can get a lot of help from your pharmacist - if you’re unsure or have any questions, it’s often easier than going to your GP.
Before taking over-the-counter medication or supplements, check with your pharmacist that they won’t effect any other medication.
Never crush pills, open capsules, change or stop taking your medication without getting advice.
Do let your GP or pharmacist know if you or your loved one is experiencing any side effects from a medication, as they may want to change the dose or try another medication.
4. Organising your prescriptions
We can organise prescriptions for you or your loved one. Click here to discover how Caremark can help