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Having chronic kidney disease (CKD) and being on dialysis often requires an assortment of medications as part of treatment. Whether you're prescribed phosphorus binders, insulin injections or other prescriptions, it may be hard to keep up with which medications to take and what they do for your health. However, learning to manage your medication is essential for helping maintain a healthy, kidney-friendly lifestyle. Check out these tips for managing your medications when you have kidney disease:
1. Learn the names of your medications and what they do
Being informed can help you handle the challenges of kidney disease, and managing your medications may make you more likely to stay healthier longer. It is important to learn the names of all your medications and how each one supports kidney health. You should also know when to take each medication (i.e. before or after meals, at bedtime, etc.) and which ones can or cannot be taken together.
2. Keep your medications organized
A pill organizer or electronic medication log can be helpful in keeping your medications straight. Use color-coded bottles, write yourself notes or create a spreadsheet to track your medications. Staying organized can help make it easier to know what to take and when to take it.
3. Form healthy habits
Get into the habit of taking medications at the same time each day. Link them to another daily event, such as a meal time or bed time, making it easier to stick to a schedule and maintain a healthy routine.
4. Record everything in a notebook
Use a notebook to record the names and dosages of prescribed and over-the-counter medication. You can also use it to write down instructions from your healthcare provider, renal dietitian and doctor. Add reminders to the notebook for your next doctor's visit in order to clearly state what has happened since the last appointment. It may even be a good idea to record details about your medication schedule and how you felt after each dose so that you can share the information with your doctor.
5. Consider using a specialized pharmacy that focuses on kidney care
In 2005, DaVita created DaVita Rx®* with the goal of better serving dialysis patients by helping them manage their medications. DaVita Rx is a full-service pharmacy that specializes in kidney care. DaVita Rx can help you manage your medications with services like no-cost delivery, friendly refill reminders and access to specially-trained pharmacists.
Consult your physician if you have questions about your medications or about your medical condition. Learn how to better manage your medications and take an important step toward supporting your overall health by reading more about prescription management.
*DaVita Rx, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of DaVita, Inc. It operates a stand-alone retail pharmacy that specializes in treating patients with Kidney Disease. Use of DaVita Rx pharmacy services is not a condition of treatment and patients always have a choice in pharmacy providers
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