Medications are one of the more difficult things to manage that comes along with a bipolar diagnosis. The medications work together to help decrease the symptoms caused by bipolar disorder. Every person takes a different combination of medications to treat their individual symptoms and needs. I have been on multiple medications since my diagnosis, just like most individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
I take a combination of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety medications. My medications need to be taken three times a day, and it’s important to take them regularly. Some of the medications I take treat side effects caused by my bipolar medication, and some of my meds treat separate physical conditions. It’s a lot of medication to take and keep organized. It’s important to take the right medication at the right time. It’s also important to make sure I don’t run out of any of my medications.
Keeping our psychiatric medications organized is a difficult job to handle, but it is a vital task. Medications can do a lot to treat bipolar disorder, as well as other psychiatric disorders, as long as they are taken on a regular basis. Each medication has its own specific instructions that need to be followed. Keeping track of everything is not easy, but our psychiatrists prescribe these medications to us with detailed instructions for a good reason. I never make any changes to my medications without first clearing it with my psychiatrist.
At times, I have been unable to manage all of my medications properly, even when using a weekly pill organizer. In the past, I have used a free online service called MyMedSchedule.com. This website has helped me to keep track of all my medications, how often I taken each medication, it sends me reminders to take my meds, and it sends me reminders to refill my meds. I can also print off a list of my medications that is wallet size so I have it with me in case I ever need it; when my doctors asks me what medications I’m on, all I have to do is pull out my list and hand it to them. Hopefully, this website can help some people organize and manage their medications with greater ease.
Keeping track of side effects is also important to medication management. It is critical to report all side effects to your psychiatrist so he/she can properly treat them. Some side effects, such as nausea or drowsiness, can be easily treated.
The following suggestions helpful for people who take multiple medications:
- Use a pill organizer: I fill mine up weekly to make sure that I take my morning and evening medications.
- Count your meds: Every week, when I fill up my pill organizer, I count the pills I have left. I put the bottles away as long as I have at least one full week worth of medication left in the bottle after filling up the pill organizer.
- Refill meds as needed: If I have less than one full week in the pill bottle, then I leave it on the counter so I remember to refill that prescription that week. I have never run out of medication using this method.
- Use alarms: I also set an alarm on my phone, which goes off every afternoon, to remind me to take my afternoon medication.
- Keeping some meds on me at all times: Some of my medications only need to be taken “as needed”, such as anti-anxiety medication and those that treat specific side effects. I keep these medications in my purse so I have them with me at all times.
- Use the free online services: The website mymedschedule.com can be used to keep track of all your medications, when to take your meds, and when to refill them.
- Talk to your psychiatrist and pharmacist: You can ask your psychiatrist about side effects, but your pharmacist will generally know more about all medication side effects and medication interactions.
- Don’t change your meds on your own: Despite side effects, it’s still essential not to make changes to your medications without first speaking with your psychiatrist about it.
Medications must be taken as prescribed in order for them to work to the best of their ability. This means that it is necessary to keep track of when to take meds and when to refill meds. Keeping track of side effects also helps to treat any medical issues that arise. Communicating with your psychiatrist is very important for medication management, which helps to ensure the best outcome.