We all want to be healthier. And we all want the tools, advice, and information available to achieve our health care goals. But, with misinformation on medications, misuse of drugs and supplements, and a lack of general understanding of how medicines work, it can be more difficult than ever to get reliable information. And this is where the need for medication reviews comes in. But what is a medication review?
Medication reviews are essential for helping you understand how your medication works, why it is being prescribed, and possible side effects. Do you worry about the side effects of your medications or if they will interact with other medicines you're currently taking? A medication review is all you need to help you answer your questions and clear your doubts!
What Are Medication Reviews?
Medication reviews also called med reviews or drug reviews, are a service provided by clinical pharmacists, to ensure that your medications work optimally. It is done at least once per year and can have benefits such as fewer hospitalizations, decreased medication errors, and improved health outcomes.
A med review is always aimed at improving your health and reducing unnecessary drug therapy, drug interactions, and undesirable side effects. Medication reviews may help to lower medication costs, correct medication-related discrepancies, and decrease the number of drugs prescribed.
Drug reviews are critical if you're managing chronic conditions e.g., hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. or if you're taking several medications regularly
Pharmacists will look at the medicines you use, how you use them, what outcomes have been achieved so far (positive and negative), and whether you should remove unnecessary medications you currently take. They can also provide adequate substitutes for drugs with undesirable drug side effects, e.g., switching Lisinopril (which might cause a dry cough) for Valsartan or Losartan (a much tolerated and equally effective medication).
What Happens During Medication Reviews?
So, what happens during drug reviews, and what should you expect? First, we will discuss all of your prescriptions, over the counter, and natural health products where. the pharmacist may ask questions, such as:
- "How have you been using these medications?"
- "How do they make you feel?"
- "Are you experiencing any new side effects?"
The information gathered from this interview can help your physician or pharmacist make helpful suggestions and changes to your medication profile. They may suggest drug removal or substitution for optimal therapeutic effect with minimum side effects.
In the medication review process, we encourage you to be detailed about your experiences with your medication such as how you use them, how often you miss or skip doses, and what other drugs or supplements you use. This will allow the pharmacist to best make suggestions on how to improve your medication regimen. This may include suggestions such as compliance packs, changing the medication to an easier to use the product.
What Are the Benefits of a Medication Review?
A lot of benefits come with a medication review. These benefits are usually more prominent if you're over 50 years old or taking 3 or more prescription medications to manage chronic illnesses. Some of the benefits of medication reviews include:
- Pinpointing drug interactions and drug side effects
- Eliminate duplicate medications and excessive doses
- How to use your medicine for the best therapeutic outcomes
- It helps you become more knowledgeable about your medication
- Creating an avenue to discuss health changes related to the use of medications
- Cost reduction (through the removal of unwanted drugs or substitution with less expensive ones)
- Clarification of proper drug disposal methods
- Improved quality of life and satisfaction with health outcomes
Why Should You Get a Medication Review From a Pharmacist?
Healthcare professionals function as teams, with each team member contributing their expertise towards achieving a common aim—restoring or maintaining the patient's health and quality of life.
Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who have undergone intensive training in preparing, dispensing and the effects of medicines on the human body. They are highly trained to pinpoint potential drug-drug, drug-food, and drug-disease interactions and communicate this concern to physicians, other members of the healthcare team, and patients.
With a medication review, which is an ongoing monitoring process, pharmacists can initiate proper action or educate patients and other professionals on a specific or potential medication-related problem and on appropriate measures to be taken. Pharmacists develop good and cost-effective ways to deal with drug-related issues in any medication treatment plan.
Pharmacists are also skilled at utilizing their scientific knowledge of the effects of medicines and other substances on the human system to provide counsel that ensures the best outcomes for patients.
Therefore, getting a pharmacist to regularly provide a comprehensive review of your medication can optimize your health and provide you peace of mind that your medications are working the way they should.
How Does Medication Review Improve Your Health?
So, how do medication reviews improve your health? Here are some of the ways a med review can improve your health.
- Bring about a significant decrease in the number of drug-related problems.
- Ensure medicines are appropriately dosed for optimal therapeutic outcomes
- A reduction in the number of drugs used: polypharmacy is a major issue in and of itself!
- Ensure that you use only the minimum number and best combination of medicines.
- Improve compliance and adherence
- Reduce the confusion that comes with having to keep track of several medications.
Does Reviewing Medications Improve Ability to Adhere?
Reviewing medications can make it easier for you to adhere to. According to a medication review study to evaluate the effect of medication reviews on two groups of hypertensive patients, the researchers found that both groups had similar adherence rates before the medication review process. However, after a med review process with the test group, a statistically significant adherence was found compared to the group without a medicine review.
How to Prepare for Your Medication Review?
To get the most out of your medication review meeting:
- Ensure you compile a list of prescription medicines you are using currently. This should include every single one you've used in the last three months, even antibiotics!
- Compile a list of all the OTC medications you are using and all the supplements (herbal or natural), vitamins, garlic, ginger, etc.
Ensure you’re in a private and quiet area as we will be asking you questions about your health. Typically these conversations will happen by phone or video call so ensure you are in a place with a strong cellular or wifi connection.
Cost of Medication Review?
How much do you have to pay for a medication review? A med review comes at no cost and could significantly impact your treatment outcomes.
If you want a comprehensive medication review, you can take advantage of free medication reviews with Mednow! Contact us for a medication review today to ensure your medications are working optimally for you.
The importance of medication reviews to optimum healthcare outcomes cannot be overemphasized.
Medications are an essential part of your overall health. But making sure you're taking your medication as prescribed and getting the best results can be confusing. Our medication review services at Mednow can help you keep track of your medications, answer any questions, and ensure you're using medications safely.
If you need more information about medication reviews or need one to be scheduled for you anywhere in Canada without stress, you can get a virtual medication review from Mednow today. Feel free to reach out to us anytime.
Also, you can check out some highly educational health blogs here. Take charge of your health today!
This article offers general information only and is not intended as medical or other professional advice. A healthcare provider should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed, and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services is expressly given or implied by Mednow or its affiliates.Get Started