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Your health can’t take days off

By Catherine Barber | March 1, 2020 | 2 min read | Healthy Lifestyle

Doctor Taking Senior Female Patient's Blood Pressure

We get it: life can be complicated. But your health doesn’t have to be. Taking your medications as your doctor recommends is one key part of managing your whole health. With just a few simple tips, tricks and tools listed below, we can help take some of the stress out of juggling your daily medications.

Sometimes remembering to take your medications can feel like a chore. Just taking the right medicine at the right time can be difficult—especially if you are taking multiple medications a day. Unfortunately, taking any medicine improperly may make it ineffective or possibly dangerous. Therefore, taking the right medication at the right time is crucial to living a healthy life.

For some people, simply using an over-the-counter pillbox or setting a daily alarm is enough to make sure they take their medications as prescribed. For others, more advanced reminders and tools are necessary.

Open and honest communication with your doctor or health care providers can help you make smart choices about your health. You should feel empowered to talk with your doctor or pharmacist. After all, you are the most important member of your health care team!

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), we are here to help you become the healthiest version of you. We understand you deserve appropriate medication and chronic disease management, and as one of your biggest advocates for exceptional care, we have many services that can help you achieve your health care goals.

Tips and Tricks

Tips to help you manage your medications:

  • Take your medicine every day as prescribed—even on the good days.
    • Just because you don’t feel an immediate difference does not mean your medication isn’t working!
  • Invest in a pillbox, prepare a drug diary, set a phone reminder or explore other organizational tools to stay on top of things and in control.
  • Talk to your hometown pharmacy about automatic refills or 90-day supplies.
  • Ask your hometown pharmacist if all of your medications can be filled on the same day, saving you time and trips to the pharmacy.
  • Check your remaining refills on the bottle each time you fill your prescription. If more refills are needed, contact your doctor.
  • Contact AllianceRx Walgreens Prime about mail-order options by calling 877-787-3047.
  • Call your doctor if side effects from your medications are causing you to stop taking them. You may need to change your dose or switch to another medication, and your doctor won’t know to help unless you let them know how you’re feeling.
  • Follow the instructions your provider has given you regarding appropriate food and exercise choices.
  • If cost is a problem, explore your options! Your pharmacist or provider will know if your medications have a generic or lower-priced version available. Let your health care team know if cutting costs is a priority for you—they’re here to help.
    • Do NOT stop taking necessary medications, skip doses or split pills to save money. Treatment and hospitalization for resulting problems can be much more costly down the road.
  • Remember, some drugs require more than a provider’s prescription to be covered by Blue Cross NC. Learn more at
  • No matter what, talk to your health care team if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to help!

My new medication

Make sure that you keep a list of all the medications you’re taking: prescriptions, vitamins, herbs, supplements and over-the-counter medications.

Before taking any new medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist these important questions:

  • What is the name of this medication, brand and generic?
  • Why do I need to take this medication?
  • How and when should I take it?
  • How do I know if it’s helping?
  • Can I expect any side effects? If so, what are they, and when should I report them?
  • Where should I store this medication?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • Will it interact with any of my other medications, including over-the-counter medicine?
  • Should I avoid anything while taking this medication?
  • What outcome can I expect from taking it?

You can fill out this chart as you get answers for review later. Feel free to ask your health care professional to write down any medication instructions.