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Scheduling Medications

Introduction

  • Because patients can be on several regimens for several different purposes, every effort should be made to educate patients and caregivers about the purpose, optimal dose, and schedule of their medications.
  • Improper dosage or schedule of medications may cause or exacerbate uncomfortable side effects. This can cause patients to stop medication that may be quite helpful when taken properly.
  • The cost of medication and travel to obtain medication can be prohibitive for some families. Explore the use of prescription by mail service or free drug programs sponsored by most pharmaceutical companies.

Assessment

  • Verify that the patient can get and is taking all medications
  • Assess medication supply and ensure that patient has enough to last through the next visit.
  • Assess patient and caregiver understanding of the purpose of each medication

Strategies

  • Review all medications, doses, and frequency of administration with the patient and caregiver
  • Reiterate that the important concept is the interval between medication doses and not the "clock time" of the medication. e.g. q 4 hours rather than 6 am, 10 am, 2 pm etc.
  • Assist with the scheduling of medications around the patient's lifestyle and activities (e.g. help family calculate when to take medications based on usual wake and sleep times).
  • Have patient and caregiver indicate usual regimen
  • Review scheduling to minimize adverse interactions




News
Early Palliative Care in Lung CA Focuses on Coping, Symptoms

Jan 31, 2013 - Early palliative care clinic visits, integrated with standard oncologic care for patients with metastatic lung cancer, emphasize symptom management, coping, and psychosocial aspects of illness, according to research published online Jan. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.



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