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Why is it so important to take my medications?

Taking medication exactly as your doctor recommends is not always as simple as it may seem. In fact, it can be quite complex. There are many factors that will make you either more or less likely to take your medication. Some of these factors include:

  • how easy it is to take the medication
  • how many times a day you have to take the medication
  • your perception of the benefit of the medication
  • your perception of the risks of not taking the medication
  • the risks of taking the medication, including side effects
  • the total number of pills you take in a day
  • how well you perceive the medication to be working
  • the cost of the medication

These are just a few of them. Not all may apply to you, but they will all enter into your decision to take a medication or not. Even if you decide you want to take a medication, it is not always easy to remember to take it. After all, we are humans, not elephants: sometimes we do forget. It can be a challenge to make taking medications a part of your daily routine, but it can become as natural as brushing your teeth or having a meal.

However, taking medications as prescribed is important. Using medications the right way will help you to:

  • get the full benefits of your medication. If you only take half of the medication that was recommended, you will not get the full benefits of the dose that your doctor recommended.
  • avoid unwanted side effects. If you take more medication than recommended because you want more of the benefits of the medication, you are at an increased risk of getting side effects. And you may not get additional benefits.
  • avoid medication conflicts. Some medications should not be taken together. If they are, the effect of one or both of the medications can be increased or decreased, leading to potential problems.

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