Making sure you have taken your medications on time and in the right doses is important to ensuring they are effective in managing or treating your medical condition.
For people taking a large number of medications, or older people who may live alone or have limited access to a carer or support person, this can be a challenge.
However, your community pharmacy can help ensure you or a loved one is maintaining a medication regimen by packing the regular medications into a special dosing device called a Dose Administration Aid (DAA).
DAAs organise doses of tablets and capsules according to when they should be taken and are well-sealed, tamper-evident devices. They make it easy to know when to take the medication, whether you have taken it and also help to ensure the medications are taken in the correct prescribed doses.
Medication-related hospital admissions remain a significant problem in Australia. It is estimated that about 190,000 people are admitted to hospital each year in Australia as a result of medications-related problems. Medication-related hospital admissions have been estimated to comprise 2 per cent to 3 per cent of all Australian hospital admissions, with rising estimates of prevalence when sub-populations are studied. For example, 12 per cent of all medical admissions and 20 per cent to 30 per cent of all admissions in the population aged 65 years and over are estimated to be medication-related.
The use of a Dose Administration Aid (DAA) can help to take the worry out of managing your medications. They are particularly useful for people who need to take medications several times a day. DAAs can assist you to clearly see when to take your medications and quickly check that you have taken your medications.
For a nominal fee, your pharmacist can take your prescriptions and organise your medications into the days and times to be taken. Your pharmacy will manage your prescriptions and let you know when you need to see your doctor for new scripts. The DAA will be made up and ready to collect when you visit your pharmacy – saving you time waiting in line!
Your pharmacist can also provide a print-out of your medications and the times they need to be taken to help with managing your medications. Talk to your pharmacist about whether a Dose Administration Aid would make taking your medications easier.