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
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
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
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