Failure to take medication as prescribed can lead to sickness, degenerative disease, even death, so before you give up on a recommended drug because of the following excuses, devise a plan to help your medication do its job.

“It’s too expensive.”

Ask your doctor if a generic or less-expensive drug might work for you; the answer usually is yes. Talk with the pharmacist, too. “Even though medications can be expensive, an emergency room visit and a hospitalization is much more expensive,” Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gail Burstein said.

“Sometimes, I just forget to take it.”

Make a daily routine and set reminders, not only at home with the help of a written list, but with a smartphone or computer app like Med Helper or MediSafe pill reminders.

“Getting refills can be inconvenient, and sometimes I forget. It’s just too complicated.”

Consider an online or mobile pharmacy, or ask your pharmacy if it delivers. You generally can order refills by phone – and many pharmacies will now call, email or text you when it’s time to refill your prescriptions, so ask.

“I don’t like the side effects.”

Sometimes, side effects can be fleeting; other times they can fairly easily be managed. Ask your doctor and pharmacist if a similar medicine may work better for you.

“I don’t think I need to take it. I feel fine without it.”

Many diseases don’t have symptoms until they already have harmed your body. Talk to your health provider about why it’s important to take your medications, and what can happen if they are stopped abruptly.

Source: Univera Healthcare