Florida Pain Medicine is a rotation site and teaching facility for USF Health ACGME Pain Medicine Fellowship and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency.

My Loved One May Need Help Managing Their Medications

My Loved One May Need Help Managing Their Medications

Imagine that you need to take 5-10 prescription medications. You take some of them once daily and others two to three times each day. Some need to be taken with food, while you must have an empty stomach for others.

That confusing scenario represents real life for many adults. One in five adults takes five or more prescription medications. In older adults, nearly half take more than five. These numbers don’t even include additional over-the-counter medications or supplements.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to keeping up with your essential daily medications, but help is available. The team at Florida Pain Medicine offer medication management, a program uniquely designed to protect your health by monitoring all your medications.

Why we offer medication management

As specialists in pain relief, we work with people who have a wide range of health conditions. In addition to the condition causing their pain, many of our patients have more than one health problem. For example, 40% of adults have two or more chronic diseases.

Each chronic disease is treated with one or more medications. In many cases, you have different specialists who prescribe varying medications without knowing about all the substances you take.

When we determine that you need medication as part of your comprehensive pain relief treatment, we know we're potentially adding more potent medications into a mix of powerful and essential drugs.

We’re passionate about providing medication management services to protect your safety. We verify that the mix of medications you take won't interact with one another or increase your risk of side effects, falls, or illness.

When to seek medication management

You can schedule a medication management appointment any time you have questions or worry about your medication regimen. However, you should consider seeking help when you:

If you take five or more medications, you definitely need the support of medication management. However, there aren't any definite guidelines for people taking two to four. 

If you take two medications but both are prescribed by the same doctor, chances are you don't need medication management unless we add medications to your regimen.

The thing to remember is that every drug — whether it's prescribed, over-the-counter, or traditional Chinese medicine — has the potential to interact with other medications. Additionally, supplements can interact with medications.

These interactions can cause unwanted side effects. One drug may also reduce the effectiveness of another drug. As a result, medication management may be an essential service for anyone taking two or more drugs.

Medication management services

During medications management, we:

Review your medications

You bring in all your medications, including prescription medications from all your doctors, over-the-counter medications, and nutritional and herbal supplements.

We put together a comprehensive list of what you take and the dose, and we carefully evaluate all the medications for potential interactions or side effects. We also talk with you about any problems you have taking your medications and learn if you have symptoms of side effects.

Create a medication treatment plan

If we identify medication interactions, we create a new medication plan. That could mean prescribing a different medication, changing a dose, or tapering you off a medication. If we recommend changing a medication, we always coordinate with your prescribing physician to be sure you receive the treatment you need.

Teach you about your medications

We teach you why you need each medication, how it works, and the signs of side effects. It's also important to know why you need to follow a specific schedule. For example, some medications are less potent if you don't take them with meals.

Set up a method for taking multiple medications

We can help you set up a method that makes it easier to take your medications. This can be anything from a low-tech pill box to one of today's smart pill boxes, automated pill dispensers, or a reminder app for your phone.

If you or your loved one need help managing medications, call Florida Pain Medicine, or book an appointment online today.

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