5 Common Reasons for Medicine Resistance, and How to Overcome Them

cookieMonster

Medications may be preserving your loved one's health and well-being -- but they only work if they're taken properly. Here are some tips for ensuring that happens:

If the size of the pill is a problem . . .

Ask the doctor about alternate formulations, such as liquids, injectibles, or smaller pills. Some pills may be crushed -- but for others, the way the drug is released into the body is affected if you do so, either rendering them ineffective or putting your loved one at risk of overdosing. So always ask the pharmacist if it's OK to crush a pill before trying it.

If taste is a problem . . .

Ask the pharmacist if the medication can be served with chocolate milk, ice cream, or applesauce. Some drugs can even be prepared by the pharmacy as sweeter-tasting concoctions.

If side effects are a problem . . .

Some people avoid their meds because they don't like the way they feel afterward: A diuretic may make someone urinate often, for example, or an antidepressant may bring on a headache. If you're noticing your loved one hiding pills or refusing to take them, ask about side effects.

Then mention these to the doctor to see if a dosage needs adjusting. If that can't happen, avoid power struggles; don't nag or lecture your loved one. Instead, use empathy and appeal to love and reason: "I know you hate the way that pill makes you feel; it must be awful. But do you remember why you're taking it in the first place? It's helping to keep you healthy, and I don't want to risk losing you by your not taking a little pill."

If forgetfulness is a problem . . .

Make pill-taking more habitual by doing it at the same time every day, with the same cues, such as serving the med in the same little cup placed next to the morning cereal bowl, at the same time every day. Use alarm reminders, too.

If self-pity is a problem . . .

Nobody likes to feel like the "sick one" in the household. Try getting everyone to take their daily meds all together at the same time, if possible -- even if for some people, this is just a daily vitamin. Seeing everyone take pills can help your loved one feel less isolated.


over 4 years ago, said...

On the side effects of medicine as the problem, many if not most patients got worst and got additional problems taking them, such as becoming deaf, dizzy, sleepy, drolling, weakish, aside from the headaches mentioned. Why not find a medication that will not give those side effects - i am sure there must be one that works with the patient's body system. And if the problem being treated is not life threatening, it is better to just forgo the pills. For example, I was taking care for a man who developed a problem of itchiness. He described it as "Spreading like fire" on his body as he scratched. The doctor prescribed him a pill. However, in few days, I observed that he was dizzy and confused. I advised them(with his wife) to tell it to their doctor. I was expecting the doctor to lower the dosage or change the medication, however to my surprise, he increased the dosage from one pill in the morning to another pill in the evening. Without the doctor's approval or consultation(People looked to their doctors as gods) I told the wife, I'd rather quit my work or they stopped the pill. The wife gave in to my "order" and in one day his husband's behavior was back to normal. They told this to their doctor the next time they visit him, and he gave them another one that did the work without those undesirable bad side effects. The point here is, listen to what your patient is saying. You do not feel what they feel. Finally, always make a record of your patient's health condition before any new medication and observe if there are changes as soon as s/he starts taking it.


over 4 years ago, said...

The tips on how to get a resistant loved-one to take their pills.


over 4 years ago, said...

Very helpful. These tips will help in no small measure.