Tips for travelling with medication

According to the Ontario Pharmacists Association, up to half of all medication is taken incorrectly, and problems with medication account for one in seven emergency admissions for people over 65. Scott Walker is the director of pharmacy at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He says remembering to take your medications can be hard, especially if you take several. What might happen is that you have taken the medication and then an hour later you’re trying to remember if you actually did take it. This can become a real problem because if you take the medication multiple times in the day when you’re only supposed to take it once, you can end up with a hospital related admission. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to make sure you take the right medications on time. Walker says visual hints are the best approach, like using a medication dosette. You can buy these dosettes, usually by day of the week, often wtih two or three, possibily four medication dosing times in each day. Filling these at the start of every week helps elminates any confusion. And an added benefit of using a weekly dosette: you’ll realize right away when you need to call the pharmacy for a refill. When you are travelling, especially around the time of the holidays, you get busy doing other things, so you need to do this proactively so that you don’t run out, so you don’t find yourself in a city two hours down the road without any medication. He says electronic reminders are also helpful. There are internet sites that offer programs that give you electronic reminders. Some of them even go so far as to show you a picture of the tablet that you might or that you are supposed to take and that electronic reminder could be sent to your cell phone so that it rings when you look at your iPhone, there might even be a picture of the tablet that you’re to take. And the number of tablets that you’re to take. Other kinds of visuals cues are also effective. A visual printed page showing you the number of tablets and the look of the tablets that you’re to take. If you do forgot to take your medication, make sure you contact your doctor or pharmacist for some guidance right away. With Sunnyview, I’m Monica Matys.