What Patients Should Know About Drug Therapy

Patients and caregivers that are knowledgeable about medication regimen are better equipped to participate in the care process. There is some basic information every patient and caregiver should know about drug therapy.

First, patients should have a complete list of their current medications including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements.  A list can be provided by the dispensing pharmacy, skilled nursing facility, or prescriber.

Once patients and caregivers have the medication list, they should also know:

  • Why each medication is being take
  • How each medication should be taken
  • What are the common side effects and adverse drug reactions for each medication
  • How effective is the medication therapy

A Complete Medication Review is a great tool patients and caregivers can use to better understand medication therapy. A CMR is a patient-centered review of medication therapy that involves a one-on-one consultation designed to identify and address medication related problems and patient concerns.

The goal of a CMR is to improve the participant’s knowledge, understanding, and management of his/her medication therapies and health conditions. CMRs also help prescribers identify and bridge gaps in care. CMRs are required annually, and certain participants may be eligible for an additional CMR if he/she is recently discharged from the hospital.  

Patients, caregivers, and clinicians should partner with a trained senior care pharmacist to provide a clinical review of medication therapy.