The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Reviewing your prescriptions can save you time and money. Find out how.
Across the U.S., 9 out of 10 adults aged 65 and older took a prescription medication in the past month, and 4 out of 5 seniors live with one or more chronic conditions. For those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, prescription medication use can be another aspect of daily life. For those accustomed to taking daily pills, it’s critical to understand the purpose of medications and their effects on your body as well as to review them often with your doctor and pharmacist.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you a brief guide on Reviewing Prescriptions: Saving Money By Talking to the Doctor.
Every time you visit your doctor, you should review your medicine record: what you’re taking and how much. There may be new information about your medication, cheaper alternatives or new instructions for taking it. Although you may consider quitting one of your prescriptions, do not stop taking a prescription unless your doctor says it’s okay- even if you are feeling better. Keep track of all the medications you are taking, and update the list regularly as new medications are added and removed.
The Problem with Too Many Drugs
Today, 15% of people are taking five or more prescription drugs. Studies show that nearly 1 out of 5 people take a drug they no longer need, and for people over 65, the problem is worse. Taking a large amount of differing medications can be dangerous for a variety of reasons:
- You may have a hard time keeping track of all your medications.
- You may find it hard to pay for all your drugs.
- You may not be taking a drug that you do need.
- You may take the wrong drug for your condition.
- You may have serious side effects.
Talking To Your Doctor
When talking to your doctor, the most important thing to remember is to come prepared and ask every question that comes to mind. People visit doctors for their expertise and knowledge, so give your doctors the information they need. This way they can work to better understand your medication and how you react to it. Some key questions to ask include:
- Why do I take this prescription? Is it for long- or short-term use?
- How do I take this medicine (how often, with/without food, etc.)
- What are its side effects? What should I do if they occur?
- Can I substitute a generic for name brands or try a non-drug alternative?
- Does it duplicate any of other prescriptions I am taking?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- Does this drug interact with any of the other prescriptions I take?
- How important is this prescription given my finances and overall health?
- Does my health or age make this drug unsafe for me?
It should come as no surprise that prescription medication can get expensive. Whether it’s a single expensive medication or several, the cost of drugs is often a cause of concern for older adults, particularly for those on a fixed income. Although it may be tempting to decide not to get a prescription filled, try these simple money-saving tips first:
- Go generic– Ask your doctor about generic alternatives. These prices are often fractions of the cost of brand-name medications.
- Evaluate your medication list– Consult with your doctor on whether you’re ready to come off certain medications.
- Shop around– If you purchase all your medications at a single pharmacy, ask your pharmacy to give you a discount in order to keep your business. The key thing to remember is that different pharmacies offer different prices on their medications. Find the best option for you.
Although medications for chronic lung disease can help ease symptoms, they cannot promote healing within the lungs. When medications feel ineffective, the costs too high and the negative side effects too great, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. If you’re looking to take control of your health, don’t wait.
If you or a loved one suffers from COPD or another lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 today to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.
Frustrated by your current medication? Try Reviewing Prescriptions: Saving Money By Talking to the Doctor. Share your thoughts and comments on reviewing your prescription below.