Prescription programs are necessary for anyone who's taking medication. While medicated products and treatments are certainly one of the best ways to stay healthy, improper use can certainly produce the opposite results. If you care about your loved one then you should take every precaution necessary and that includes managing his medication schedule with the appropriate discretion.
Consult the patient's doctor.
If you have been tasked or you've taken it upon yourself to manage your loved one's medication then the first thing you should do is to consult the patient's physician. If he has more than one physician then you must speak with the physician who has prescribed the medications he is currently taking.
What your loved one has informed you regarding his medication may be detailed, but you can never be too sure, can you? This is your loved one's health at stake, after all. It's best to go directly to the source and consult the doctor about the medications he's prescribed.
Find out what he's taking and why.
The first thing you should clarify is the generic and brand names of the medications he's taking. You've no doubt seen a prescription filled out by the doctor. Physicians are certainly one of the smartest people in the world, but their handwriting - if you can call it that - leaves a lot to be desired, doesn't it? And it's because of their chicken scrawl that some people end up buying the wrong brand. That's a mistake - in the worst case scenario - which could cost you your loved one's life.
It's critical that you understand why they've been prescribed as well. That way, you'll know what would happen if you do miss a dosage or what you should do if you're unable to access such medication for any reason.
Also, double-check the required dosages. People can easily overdose on prescribed drugs because they think that the more they drink, the quicker they'll be on their way to recovery. Sadly, it could be the reverse as well.
Be meticulous in your records.
On the first page of your notebook, indicate the disease or condition of your loved one, the medications and dosages he's required to take as well as contact details of his physician and any other person that may be contacted in case of emergency.
On the succeeding pages, write down the date and time and place as well as the dosage of the medication you've administered. It may seem overly detailed, but that's better than lacking sufficient data when things suddenly go downhill. If there is more than one person who's assigned to keep track of your loved one's prescription programs, be sure that he is sufficiently trained for proper record keeping.
Keep track of appointments with doctors and other necessary schedules.
Doctor's appointments, check-ups, lab tests, and schedules for any other procedure that would improve your loved one's condition should also be kept track of and is an integral part to his medical program. If you feel that you need to make an additional appointment with the doctor, go ahead and do so. It's better to be safe than sorry!
Edward Koop has written extensively on proper management of prescription programs as well as other essential subjects in quality healthcare.