After thousands of patients and over 20 years of collecting data, I consistently find that 2% of the patients I see don’t need any medication change. I hope you are in this esteemed 2%. It means your medication regimen is safe, effective, dosed correctly, and working just as expected for you. You have no unmet health needs. You are doing the things you want to do in your life with no limitations posed by medicine.
A full 2% understand their medications and take them correctly.
How do you know if you’re part of the other 98%?
A medication use specialist reviewing your health plan might uncover any of these things:
- Your medication is causing a side effect that is impacting your day
- There is another medication that could have the same benefit without the disruptive side effect
- Your dose is too low to completely do what it is intended to do
- Your dose is too high for what you need
- Your kidneys or liver have changed, so your dose needs to change
- A medication for one purpose is making another medical condition worse
- You have a problem that could be treated and no treatment has been started
- You are not taking the medication that has been prescribed and have not told your healthcare team (doctor)
- The medication is so expensive you are having to make decisions about what to purchase each month
- Your medication is not covered by your insurance; another safe and effective option is covered
- You take your medicine at a time of day that will limit its effect
- You take your medicine with other medicine or food that will change its effect
- Your medication is making your dizzy or otherwise increasing your chance for falls
- Your memory is changing because of your medication
- The time of day you take your medication is limiting its effectiveness
- You don’t remember which medication is for which indication
- You have your medications confused
- You pick and choose each day which medication to take (when maybe it only works if taken regularly)
- You are taking a medicine that you no longer need
- Medications, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter items, and other things you take aren’t known by your healthcare team, are causing issues or are making you better such that you no longer need some of your prescriptions
What if you’re part of the 98%?
That’s why I do what I do!
The key elements of a Meds MASH health review:
- Talk about your health goals and hopes
- Review your health records
- Review all of your medications exactly as you use them
- Assess all of your supplements, herbals, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and the things you take just once in awhile
- Evaluate your falls risk (helpful even if you are an athlete)
- Evaluate your heart disease risk
- Evaluate your memory
- Assess your depression, anxiety, stress levels
- Prepare you to get the most out of all healthcare visits with your doctor, therapist, or other providers
- With your permission, share our findings and recommendations with your doctor and healthcare team
- If you prefer, coach you to share our findings and recommendations with your doctor and healthcare team
- Help your doctor with prioritizing items and medication titration (very gradually, carefully monitoring changes)
Contacting Meds MASH
A full 98% of people have room for improvement or education with their medications. Nearly ¾ need an actual medication or dose change. Even after I have worked with people for years, about ½ of the time, there is more work to be done. I never make changes all at once. Your health is too important. Any changes, agreed to by you and your doctor, are made one at a time while we carefully monitor your response.
For further application, check out my personal blog.