Rethinking your Rx: Should you have a medication review
11/5/2015 2:49 PM
A medication review is a structured discussion of your medications with your physician or pharmacist with the goal to improve and optimize treatment. As you age or increase medications, it’s important to consider if the medication prescribed is appropriate and effective for your needs, that the medication is the most cost effective choice and if any monitoring of the medication should be done.
The review will help you understand what your medications are for, how to take each one, what side effects might lead to the need for other medications, how to remember to take them and what lab tests might need to be performed. You should have the chance to raise questions and highlight problems about your medications during the review.
It’s important for you to have your medications, current health problems and treatment goals reviewed at least every 12 months with your physician; however, you can ask for a review at any time. Other situations when a medication review is most crucial: if you take five or more different medications a day, have recently started a new medication or changed doses, have recently spent time in the hospital, have medications from different health care providers or have changes in symptoms or health.
When reviewing your medications, include over-the-counter and herbal medications. After the review, keep an up-to-date medication list and have it with you each time you visit a health care professional or go into the hospital. Make it a habit to have your medication reviewed and ask questions on a regular basis. The more you know, the better you will feel.
About the Author
Mary Grace Rojas, PharmD., is the director of Pharmacy at Central Texas Medical Center.