6 New Year’s resolutions your pharmacist wants you to make (and keep)

A pharmacist smiles in her Express Scripts® Pharmacy lab coat.

As the new year approaches, many of us embrace the idea of a fresh start or reset and resolve to make positive changes in our lives. Typically, these resolutions focus on things like fitness, weight loss, relationships, or career aspirations.

But there’s another area of your life that could benefit greatly from some attention: your medication routine. Here are some New Year’s resolutions our pharmacists suggest you make to help you feel healthier and happier in the coming year.

Resolution #1: Take your medication as prescribed

One of the most important things you can do for your health is to take your medication as it is prescribed. That means following the medication directions and not skipping doses. Your pharmacist can help you better understand the value or benefits of the medications you’ve been prescribed, as well as the risks if you don’t take it.

They can also provide tools and resources to help you remember to take your medications consistently, such as pill organizers, medication reminder apps, or timing your medication with a daily activity like brushing your teeth or getting dressed.

Keep in mind that some medications may not seem to make you feel better, but they’re still important to maintaining your health. Not taking your medication as prescribed can make your health condition worse.

Resolution #2: Schedule and attend regular health checkups

Prevention is key when it comes to your health. Make it a priority to schedule and attend regular checkups with your doctor. They can advise you on necessary immunizations, screenings, and health assessments. These visits can catch potential health issues early and ensure you receive proper care, including medications.

Resolution #3: Store your medications correctly

Many medications have specific storage requirements. Improper storage can impact their effectiveness. Your pharmacist can educate you on the best way to store your medications, including temperature and humidity considerations.

Resolution #4: Pay attention to your mental health

The mind and body are closely connected. Chronic health conditions can lead to depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Untreated depression or anxiety can cause us to not manage our medical conditions well. If you have feelings of sadness, loneliness, or isolation, or you no longer find enjoyment in things you once did, talk to your doctor. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Getting help when we need it is a sign of strength.

Resolution #5: Schedule regular medication reviews with your pharmacist

Your pharmacist is a valuable resource when it comes to understanding your medications. Schedule periodic medication reviews with your pharmacist to discuss your medication regimen, potential side effects, and any concerns you might have. This also provides your pharmacist with the opportunity to make sure none of your medications interact with each other and that your medications are working optimally for you.

If you have side effects, or even a concern about potential side effects, there may be alternative medications without the same side effects that could effectively address or manage the condition you’re treating.

Resolution #6: Turn to your pharmacist more often

Your pharmacist is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to a variety of health topics. They can provide you with resources for managing chronic health conditions and review healthcare data from monitoring devices or wearables. Your pharmacist can also help you save money on your prescriptions by suggesting less-expensive alternatives such as generic medications.

Remember, it’s never too late to start

January isn’t the only time to work on resolutions. The other 11 months of the year are opportunities to start over, too. Much can happen in the span of a year, but resets can happen any time. Forgive yourself for any perceived “failures,” and try again whenever you’re ready. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your pharmacist.

Posted date: December 26, 2023

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