When you have a lung condition like COPD, often you may be prescribed a variety of medications to help you manage your condition. If these medicines are not taken the right way, you may not be getting the most from them. The following are some tips for managing your COPD medications.
Know how to take your medications properly. In order to get the most from any of your medications you should know the best way to take each one. If you are using an inhaler, take your time, use the correct technique, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. The COPD Foundation has created an inhaler video series to help you use the best technique when taking your breathing medicines. I recommend watching these videos occasionally to brush up on good inhaler use. If you are taking medicines by mouth like pills, capsules, or tablets, be sure to read the instructions on the bottle or packaging. Your medication may need to be taken with food to help avoid side effects or be absorbed into the body properly.
Set up a routine to take your medications. Taking your medicines at the same time each day can help you to breathe your best. When you take your medications routinely, you may be less likely to forget. Your medication schedule should work for you. If you have trouble deciding when to take each of your medicines, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist for information on when each drug should be taken.
Keep your medicines handy and equipment clean. It probably goes without saying that you do not want to use dirty equipment to deliver your medicines. Your medicines should be kept in a clean dry place (or according to the manufacturer’s instructions). You will want to regularly clean your nebulizer equipment and replace parts when they start showing wear and tear. If you carry your rescue inhaler with you, be sure to keep the cap attached when not in use to prevent dirt and debris from entering the mouthpiece.
Get your medications filled at one pharmacy.
It is recommended that you fill your medications at one pharmacy. By doing this, your pharmacist should be able to easily find out if there are drug-to-drug interactions and whether or not medications can be taken at once. It also can potentially build a friendship with your pharmacist so that questions and concerns can be easily addressed.
To get more information about taking your medications and making your schedule work for you, watch the Life with COPD video. Also, you can read the COPD Foundation’s Guide to Better Living on the Treatment and Management of COPD.
What other tips do you use to get the most from your COPD medications? Comment below to share your thoughts.