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Make time for your medications this holiday season!
As the holidays approach, we think about celebrating with loved ones, enjoying delicious food, traveling, and shopping. It’s easy to forget to take our medications during the hectic hustle and bustle of the season.
There can be serious consequences for people with chronic diseases (ex: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, and high cholesterol) who miss taking their medications. Every year, emergency rooms experience a high spike in heart attacks, deaths, and worsening heart failure around the holidays. Many are from people eating too much and binging on alcohol. However, missing medications can put you at a higher risk for needing to go to the hospital.
So, what can we do to help us remember to take our medications and have a safe, enjoyable holiday?
- Make a list of all of your medications
- Create a calendar or schedule to help you remember when to take which medicine
- Use a pill box to organize daily pills
- Use a smart phone app to help remind you when its time to take your medication:
- Dosecast – Medication Reminder (free): Android, iOS
- Drugs.com Medication Guide (free): Android
- MedCoach Medication Reminder (free): Android, iOS
- Med Helper Pill Reminder (free): Android, iOS
- MediSafe Meds & Pill Reminder (free): Android, iOS
- Pill Monitor Free (free): iOS
- Pill Reminder AnyTimer (free): Android
- Pill Reminder by Drugs.com (free): iOS
- PocketNurse – Pill Reminder (free): Android
- RXmindMe Prescription (free): iOS
Generally, you can take it as soon as you remember, but if you are due for today’s dose, DO NOT double up to make up for yesterday’s missed dose. If you are not sure, call your doctor or ask a pharmacist.
- Plan ahead and ask for an early refill from your pharmacy if needed
- Medication bottles should have pharmacy labels on them with your name and other important details
- If you’re going on a plane, pack your medications in a separate, clear bag to expedite the screening process
- Insulin vials, insulin pens, lancets, an unlimited number of unused syringes, glucagon emergency kits, sharps disposal container, etc. are allowed at the checkpoint
- Liquids and gels greater than 3.4 ounces are allowed as well, but must be removed from the carry-on luggage and declared to TSA
- Insulin should never be placed in a checked baggage since it could be affected by temperature and pressures
- Be prepared before they get sick and bring commonly needed medications like Acetaminophen(Tylenol) for fever or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for cold or allergy symptoms
- For medication safety, ask for child-proof bottles from your pharmacy and place your medications out of sight and out of reach from children
- Best to avoid alcohol, especially if you are taking antibiotics, cholesterol medications, antidepressants, sedatives, or warfarin
- If you must drink – moderation is key! Limit yourself to 1-2 drinks per day