Cancer Treatment: Managing Your Medications
Cancer treatment usually involves chemotherapy or targeted therapy to treat the cancer as well as other medications for managing side effects.
It is important to keep track of the medication you are taking. These tips can help:
- Get organized. Use pill organizers, charts, calendars, or another method that works for you to keep track of your medication. This will help you ensure you are taking the right medication at the right time
- Maintain a master list of your medications. One easy way to do this is to ask your health care team to print out a list of your medications for you. Your medications are likely to change over the course of your cancer treatment, so be sure to review this list at each appointment. If you have a spouse or caregiver who helps you organize your medications, it will be important to review the list with them as well
- Do not skip a dose. If you do, contact your health care team for directions
- Make every attempt to not run out of your medicine. Call your pharmacy when you notice that you are running low and need a refill. If you use mail order delivery, remember to give staff ample time to refill your medication and speak with your insurance company
- Tell your doctors and nurses about any side effects that you experience, even if you don’t think they are that important. They will have information and advise on how to help manage them
- Talk to your care team before taking any medication, vaccination, herb or supplement suggested by a health care provider who is not part of your cancer care team. It’s possible that something another provider suggests you take may interact with your cancer treatments and make them less effective or cause more side effects
Information provided by Cancer Support Community.