Taking your medicine

October 10, 2013

Your doctor prescribed your medicine to help keep you healthy. But if you aren't taking your medicines exactly as your doctor said you should, they won't work as well. Missing even one dose per week can affect how well your medicine works.

Help with remembering

Humana offers helpful online tools to keep you on track with your medicine. You can sign up at Humana.com

For refill reminder text alerts:

  • 1. Sign in to MyHumana
  • 2. Go to "My Profile"
  • 3. Select "Manage My Mobile Number" and "Alerts"
  • 4. Register your mobile phone number (Your number will appear automatically if you've already registered)
  • 5. Sign up for refill reminder text alerts

For a daily reminder text through the MyHumana mobile app:

  • 1. Open your MyHumana mobile app on your smartphone
  • 2. Choose "Doctors & Drug Tools"
  • 3. Select "Medication Reminders"
  • 4. Create a new reminder

Staying organized

  • Put your medicine in a safe and convenient spot where you're sure to see it, like on your nightstand or kitchen counter.
  • Take your medicine at the same time as you do another daily activity, like brushing your teeth in the morning or eating breakfast.
  • Pick a specific time to take your medicine and set an alarm. If you take a medicine more than once a day, set multiple alarms.
  • Use a pillbox to organize your pills by the time of day or days of the week.
  • Add a sticker or place an X on your calendar on days when you're supposed to take your medicine.
  • Arrange for a friend or loved one to give you a friendly reminder to take and refill your medicine.
  • Order your refills several days early so you'll have your medicine before you run out.
  • Ask your pharmacist whether the pharmacy has a reminder program. Many pharmacies will gladly call you when it's time for a refill.

Costs

Paying for medicine can sometimes be a challenge. Learn tips and resources for saving money on your medicines.

Do:

  • If you're taking a name-brand medicine, talk to your doctor about lower-cost options like generics or alternatives. Generics are as safe and effective as your name-brand medicine. In fact, they are identical in dose, form, safety, strength, and quality. Sign in to MyHumana and go to Maximize Your Pharmacy Benefit to see if there is an alternative to your name-brand medicine in your plan.
  • Make sure your doctor knows about all the prescription and over-the-counter medicine you take. If you have more than one doctor, they might not be aware of all the medicines you take. It's possible you could be taking two medicines for the same treatment and spending extra money.
  • Shop around. Prices may be different depending on which pharmacy you use, just like the price of milk or bread can be different at different grocery stores. Use Humana's drug pricing tool to find out how much your medicine will cost at a network pharmacy.
  • Use network pharmacies. If you choose a pharmacy that isn't in Humana's network, none of your benefits will be applied to your prescription. That means you'll have to pay for your medicine out of pocket. Use the pharmacy locator tool to find a pharmacy in your plan's network.
  • You may have preferred pharmacies within your network depending on your plan. You can find out if a pharmacy is preferred by looking in your Annual Notification of Change or your Evidence of Coverage documents.
  • Consider mail order. Many maintenance medicines can be less expensive if you buy them in three-month supplies. If Humana's mail-order pharmacy, RightSource®, is preferred on your plan, your benefits may include $0 copays for Tier One generic maintenance medicines. To get started, sign in to RightSourceRx.com. Other mail-order pharmacies may be available in your network.
  • Call Humana's Health Planning and Support line at 1-800-491-4164 to see if there are any financial assistance programs you may qualify for.
  • Always take your medicine as your doctor told you to. Trying to "cheat" by stretching out your medicine to save money isn't a good idea.

Missing even one dose per week can change how well your medicine works.

Don't:

  • Don't spread out your doses to save money. You should always take your medicine as often as your doctor told you to. Missing even one dose per week can change how well your medicine works.
  • Don't split pills. Most medicines come in different strengths and your doctor chose your dose or a reason.
  • Some pills can't be safely split. You could take too much or too little medicine. Splitting pills could also cause side effects or affect how well your medicine works.
  • Don't stop taking your medicines unless your doctor tells you to stop.

Side effects

Some people stop taking their medicines when they experience side effects. The most important thing to do if you have side effects is talk to your doctor. You don't always have to take the bad with the good.

Give your body time to adjust

Side effects may not last long. Your body just needs to adjust to the medicine. If you take less of your medicine or take it less often because of side effects, it could take even longer for your body to get used to it. Stick with your medicine unless side effects become severe. In that case, contact your doctor right away.

Not all medicines work well together, even if they work well on their own. What you are feeling may not be a side effect of one medicine. It could be your medicines reacting to each other. This is why it's important to make sure your doctor and pharmacist know all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter products like pain relievers. Herbal medicines and vitamin supplements can also react with your medicine.

Do you have more than one condition or illness?

Your doctor prescribed your medications with your condition in mind. But if you don't tell your doctor all of your conditions, he or she may prescribe a medicine that doesn't interact well with other conditions you might have. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know about all your conditions before you take a new medicine.

Some medications might not mix well with common foods you eat

Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether this could be a problem for your medicine. Learn about common food and drug interactions

Take the right medicine, at the right time, in the right amount

Knowing the right way to take your medicine could reduce side effects. For example, your medicine may need to be taken when you eat or taken at a certain time of day. If you aren't sure about the best way to take your medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Instructions

Don't guess when it comes to instructions. Your doctor or pharmacist will be glad to make sure you have the correct instructions on how to take your medicine. Call them right away if you have questions about your medicine.

Transportation

There may be resources available to you if you are having trouble getting to the pharmacy to refill your medicines. Call 1-800-491-4164, and let the on-call nurse help you.

Benefits

Remember to use your Humana ID card every time you pick up your medicine at the pharmacy. This keeps your information up to date and lets the pharmacist check to make sure you're not at risk for any harmful interactions between your medicines.

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