Social worker holding up a bridge between a patient and her medications

COPD And My Medication Management

As the discharge nurse was going over my meds, I was anticipating explaining all of this to the pharmacist. Since being diagnosed with COPD, my medication regiment increased substantially. I was on more pills and puffers than I would ever have imagined. I had different puffers that needed to be taken at different times on a daily, twice daily or as needed basis.

She continues on, telling me that these medications often have a buildup effect, so talking them at the same time every day keeps you at optimal levels maximizing the drugs’ effectiveness.

The medication regimen was daunting for a “newbie” like me

The frequency of taking meds can vary widely and it can be daunting for a newbie like me. Figuring out a method of remembering how and when to take your meds is vital to your wellbeing.

In her conclusion, she explained to me that having a chronic illness like COPD often goes hand in hand with taking daily medications like puffers along with other meds as prescribed. It was crucial that I get it right. I was unsure of how to explain to the pharmacy just what the nurse had said or how to ask the right questions of either the nurse or the pharmacy.

Just as I was wondering how I would manage to remember it all, a social services worker poked her head in and asked me if I needed anything.

The timing was perfect to ask for help

My normal response was “No, I am fine,” but the timing was on target this time, so instead, I blurted out the problem. I think I may have sounded quite frantic because her ears perked up and her eyes got really wide. But, she asked all the right questions and wrote down all my problems.

The problem was solved with a blister pack

Upon her returned she had my problem solved. She talked to my pharmacist who suggested they do a blister pack. They indicated that there the service was mine for the asking, at no charge and they would take control of all my meds and deliver them every week. They would also let me know if I was due for refills. I just had to leave my prescriptions with them and they would have it all sorted out on a breakfast, lunch, dinner and evening basis.

Suggestions for storing medications

She continued to give me some suggestions for storing my medications in a safe, dry place. It is likely that the medicine cabinet in the bathroom is the worst place to keep your meds due to the normal moisture in the bathroom.

Also, be sure to store them away from where children would be tempted to consume them. This can be tricky if you need to have access to them upon waking or going to bed.

Medication consistency is key

Now that I have the dosages and frequency sorted out, I can set up alarms on my cell phone, microwave oven, or alarm clock as reminders to take my meds. Alarms can also nudge you to re-order meds so you are never without.

The trick for taking puffers is to take them at the same time every day. After taking my morning puffer, I put the puffer in my drawer. At night when I go to bed I take it out of the drawer and after taking my bedtime dose I leave it on my bed table for morning use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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