Managing multiple prescriptions can be challenging and may even put you at risk for dangerous interactions. Here’s how to keep your prescriptions organized.

Trying to stay on top of multiple prescriptions from several doctors can be challenging. Juggling several medications can also increase your risk of potentially dangerous drug interactions.

Staying organized can help you keep track and stay safe as you follow guidelines from healthcare professionals.

Read on to find tips to help you manage taking multiple prescriptions.

Drug interaction risk factors

You may often be at a higher risk of experiencing drug interactions and medication side effects if you are an older adult and:

  • take multiple prescriptions
  • receive medications from several healthcare professionals
  • access medical services from healthcare professionals who may not be aware of your medical history
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Infographic by Bailey Mariner

Drug coverage explained

Medicare Part D plans are privately-administered plans offering prescription drug coverage. Many Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) also include coverage for prescription drugs.

Want to find out whether a plan covers the medications you take? Look up the formulary or ask your pharmacist.

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Have a list (either paper or digital) of all your prescriptions and any over-the-counter medications or supplements you take.

It’s a good idea to have this list on hand when attending medical appointments.

Adding the following information to your list can help you and your team of healthcare professionals avoid drug interactions:

  • medication dosages
  • the time of day you take the medication
  • what the medication is for
  • important safety precautions
  • any additional guidelines

Here’s a handy printable you can use to log this information:

You can also ask your pharmacist to help you write down this information.

Stay in touch with your pharmacy, and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about your prescriptions.

And, if possible, try to stick with one pharmacy for your medication needs. According to the National Institute of Aging, having a one-stop shop for your prescriptions can:

  • limit potential drug interactions
  • prevent miscommunication
  • keep your prescription histories in one place

A calendar is an excellent tool for managing your prescriptions. Digital and wall calendars or paper agendas are all effective options for keeping track of your medications.

If setting up digital reminders seems daunting, opt for an analog tracking tool or ask a friend or family member to help you.

Some pharmacies have apps available to help you with:

  • requesting refills
  • getting refill reminders
  • setting medication reminders

Some apps can even connect you directly with a pharmacist so you can get answers to your questions in the comfort of your home, day or night.

If you have trouble keeping track of when you need to take your prescriptions, a pill organizer can help with medication management.

A pill organizer separates your prescriptions with space for up to 4 weeks worth of medication.

Some pill organizers even offer slots for morning and nighttime medications, while others offer up to four spaces if you need to take your prescriptions multiple times throughout the day.

Taking multiple prescriptions may come with a higher risk of side effects, ranging from mild to severe.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, some common side effects of taking multiple prescriptions are:

  • dry mouth
  • drowsiness
  • upset stomach

If you experience side effects while taking several prescriptions, keep notes about your symptoms and let your pharmacist or doctor know.

Managing multiple prescriptions along with more than one health condition can be daunting. And the more medications you take, the higher the risk of medication mismanagement can be, which may lead to interactions and unpleasant side effects.

By learning to manage your prescriptions and leveraging help from professionals like your local pharmacist, you can take charge of your health and lower your risk of drug interactions.