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Talking to Your Doctor About Adherence
Be Honest with Your Doctor. Doctors know that taking medicines regularly can be difficult and that many patients miss some doses.
We know because research tells us that about ⅓ of patients are really good at taking their medicines regularly. The other ⅓ are really bad at taking their medicine. The final ⅓ of people fall in the middle somewhere.
Here’s the catch: patients often tell their doctors that they are taking their medicine perfectly even when they are not. Perhaps they’re afraid their doctor will be upset with them? Perhaps they want to please their doctor? However well-intentioned this may be, it only causes confusion.
Imagine if you go to your doctor and you are told that your arthritis is not well-controlled. Your doctor asks how your medicine is going and you say that you’re taking your medicine exactly as prescribed. Perhaps the truth is that you’re missing doses because you forget, or it makes you feel sick, or it’s too expensive. Why not tell the truth? Unfortunately, the only person you’re hurting is yourself. Please be honest. As doctors, we’re not here to judge you. We’re here to help you.
Constant, candid communication with your doctor is very important. Try to be as open and honest as possible. You should not feel you need to please your doctor with your responses or avoid details if you feel your doctor might be displeased. Being open about how your treatment plan is going and how you are managing with your medicines is a critical factor towards successful treatment outcomes.