We have been conditioned to think that if you take medication for anything you're ill, but if you take a multivitamin or a supplement or two you are, “taking care of yourself”.
But what about the millions of people who need to take something to stay well? For example, I take Tamoxifen to help prevent my breast cancer from returning and need to continue taking it for another 2-7 years. I am not ill, I feel great. But I take a prescription medication once a day, every day. I know tons of people just like me, with other chronic conditions that they need a daily medication to manage.
It all started because I couldn’t remember if I took or still needed to take a variety of medications to manage the side effects of chemo. I looked for a solution and all I could find was a big plastic-days-of-the-week pillbox. After I bought it I instantly felt very old and as though I was admitting I had an illness. But I wasn’t ill, and I didn’t want people to think I was.
I kept forgetting to fill it or even take it out of the drawer that I liked to hide it in. When the doctors were adjusting my medication and I had to switch out the meds, it became a mess because the pills looked the same and they got mixed up. Later, I also had things that I needed to keep track of that weren’t pills, so the box was out and I made my own tracking system using sticky notes.
Eventually, my little tracking system became tooktake dosage reminder labels.
There are millions of people who are taking short-course prescriptions or have a chronic condition that requires medication and we know that about 75% of them are not taking them as directed.
Most of these people do want to stay well and they know that taking or using their prescription as directed will help them stay well. But they are busy and simply forget. They have also been conditioned to think that if they aren’t sure if they took something, it is better to skip it than risk-taking two, which isn’t always accurate. When people are busy with family, work and school they don’t want to add the additional step of counting and filling a pillbox to their already busy week.
So, many younger people try out apps and alarms. But the problem with these is that the reminder goes off, but if they don’t happen to be near their medication at that time, or silence it without taking their medication, they are still left with the question, “Did I take it?”.
That’s where tooktake dosage reminder labels shine! Not only does tooktake work on ALL forms of medication, it goes right on the package. So not only is your tracking system right there with your medications, you also always have all of the warnings, directions, expiration and refill info handy.
Since introducing tooktake, we have been embraced by people of all ages all over the country! Moms are our biggest fans because almost all kids' medications, whether over the counter or prescription, are liquid, so pill-based reminder systems don’t work.
We have also heard from many people who are college-age as the pandemic continues, more of them are seeking out help with their mental health. Many of them are taking medications to help them with issues of anxiety and depression. As you know, it can take some time to
find the correct dosage, and for these medications to work properly they must be taken as directed.
We have heard that tooktake has been a lifesaver for so many students with constantly changing schedules who are taking a new daily medication.
While tooktake is great for chronic conditions, it is also useful when people add something new to their wellness routine, such as a multivitamin or protein powder. Tooktake helps them know if they used it as directed, they can tell if the supplement is making a positive impact on their health and wellness.
It’s more important than ever for people to establish routines and practices for themselves and their families to stay well. And while there is no one-size-fits-all solution, one thing is certain: whatever plan you make, it’s important to stick to it. Consistency beats perfection every time. Anything we can do to make it easier for our patients to be consistent with their medications and supplements means a better outcome for everyone.
Listen to this Level Up episode as Leanna talks with Suzanne Feeney to learn more about tooktake.
For more information or access to these tools - check out the Practice Resource section of The Pharmacy Network.