For most young people with a liver condition, daily medication is an essential part of life. So how do they ensure they remember to take it? And what do parents who are encouraging their children to take on responsibility for their own medication need to bear in mind?
We went straight to the experts and asked our young people for their views!
Here are their top tips:
- Organise your medication into pill boxes – because if you can’t remember if you’ve taken it or not, you can look in the pill box and check.
- Fill your pill box for the week on a Sunday night and always have the box on you
- Make a note of your repeat prescriptions and re-order them two weeks in advance so you’ll never run out
- Order a month’s worth of medication at a time
- To ensure medication becomes part of your routine, keep your pill box in a place you won’t miss eg beside the kettle or the bread bin
- And ask your parents to nag you – they’ll be happy to do so!
Philippa Lewis, Transitional Youth Worker at Birmingham’s QE Hospital, stresses that all young people are different and part of managing your own medication is finding the system that works for you.
“Young people are busy and have other things going on which are more interesting than taking pills so it’s about finding what works with your routine,” she says. “For example, someone who doesn’t have breakfast may be more likely to forget medication in the morning and if you are out in the evening and tired when you come in, you may forget the evening doses. We often hear from young people that they are pretty good at remembering meds in the week when there is more routine but it can be a bit more problematic at weekends when they have a lie in.
“What’s important is that young people are honest with themselves about this issue and don’t get worked up or feel guilty about it. So when they come for their check-ups, they need to remember that they are not here to be judged. The doctor would far rather they are honest about their medication. That way, they’ll know how best to help them.”