Managing your medication

You may be prescribed more than one medication for Parkinson’s and/or for other conditions. Taking your medication at the right time will help you to manage your symptoms better. However, some people find it difficult to take their medication as prescribed at times. There are many reasons and they include people finding their treatment regimen too complicated, not understanding why they have to take certain medicines or worrying about side effects.

There are a lot of things that you can do to make it easier to follow your treatment plan successfully.

  • Make sure you understand what each medication is for, how it works and what its effects should be. If you want to know more about a medicine, ask your doctor to explain.
  • Know what side effects to look out for. Always check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you think you may be experiencing unwanted side effects.
  • If you feel you want to change the dose, timing or frequency of your medications, discuss it with your doctor or nurse.
  • If you think you need to stop taking a medication suddenly, for example because you experience an unwanted side effect, reach out to a doctor, nurse or pharmacist immediately for advice.
  • Keep a medication diary to track how you take your medication and the symptoms you experience. It can be helpful to do this daily. A diary will also remind you what you want to discuss at your appointment. Your healthcare team will be able to advise on different treatment diaries.
  • Remember that treatment regimens for Parkinson’s are tailored to individuals to suit them. This means that your treatment may be different from someone else’s.

Sometimes it may be hard to remember to take your medicine. It may help to spend some time planning how to fit your treatment into your daily life. Try writing down when, where and what you may be doing when you plan to take your treatment. For example, “I will take my medicine at 7am, in the bathroom when I brush my teeth”.

Tips for taking your medicine on time

  • Take medicines with activities that are part of your everyday routine
  • Keep medicines somewhere visible, but out of reach of children and pets
  • Have a pillbox with sections that are clearly marked with each day of the week. If needed, you can also get boxes that mark the different times of the day
  • Set up reminders for every dose you need to take
  • Ask your family or a friend to remind you to take your medicines

It’s important that you take your medications exactly as they were prescribed. Talk to your doctor if you feel you want to stop taking or change your medicines for any reason. Taking the right dose of medication at the right time gives you the best chance that it will be effective.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help to manage your symptoms. Eating a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and reducing stress can all help to control symptoms and improve wellbeing.

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