Why You Should Take Your Prescribed Medicine If You Have a Long Term Illness

woman about to drink medicine

When you are diagnosed with a medical condition that requires you to take a regular course of medicine then ideally you should be following through with this. The intended aim of the course of treatment is to alleviate your symptoms and make you feel better, so why wouldn’t you want this? You may of course have concerns about the long term side effects of medicines, but generally the benefit of taking your prescribed medication will outweigh the symptoms of not taking anything at all. So here are some examples of why it is beneficial to take your prescribed medicine if you suffer from a long term illness.  

It Has Gone Through Rigorous Testing Before Being Approved 

Before you can even think of picking up a medicine off the pharmacy shelf, it will need to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) which is part of the UK’s Department of Health. They are responsible for ensuring that any medicine is thoroughly tested before it can be given approval to be placed on the UK market. Therefore there are a lot of protocols in place and rigorous testing which ensures that any medicine that you are then able to take is perfectly safe for human consumption. This demonstrates that the medicine that you are likely to be taking is certainly safe to do so, even for long periods of time. 

It Will Help Alleviate Your Symptoms 

When you suffer from a long term illness that causes you discomfort or pain you may be prescribed medicines to help alleviate these symptoms and make each day more comfortable. Certain conditions such as diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy and depression are examples of illnesses where long term medication can be beneficial. It can help the individual feel better so they will then become accustomed to taking medicine for many years to help keep their illness in remission. 

It Can Be Dangerous To Suddenly Stop Taking Your Medicine

Usually when a doctor prescribes you a long course of treatment it is for something that requires either pain relief or to alleviate your symptoms. As a result it could be a medicine that is required to be taken on a regular basis for a long length of time. In 2019 at least one in four adults in England were prescribed a course of long term medication that was either intended to help relieve feelings of pain, insomnia or depression.

Once you start to take this sort of medicine your body will then rely on it to help improve your symptoms, so deciding to suddenly stop taking them without the approval of your doctor can be quite harmful. For example if you are on a course of antidepressants, the side effects of suddenly withdrawing from the medicine can be worse than the feelings of depression itself. So you need to be careful when taking this type of medicine and withdraw from it gradually under the supervision of your GP. 

It Can Save You Money In The Long Run  

If you were to calculate the cost of taking at least one medicine everyday for most of your life the overall cost would be quite surprising. It’s not too much of an issue when you are taking a one off treatment, such as a course of antibiotics, compared to a long term prescription like  immunosuppressants. 

But the advantage of being prescribed NHS prescriptions from your GP is that it will cost you a lot less than if you had to buy them over the counter each time. When you factor in the years you need to take your medicines then it certainly is a positive to be able to afford them at a reduced rate through your GP practice. So in this instance being able to obtain your medicine through an NHS prescription is beneficial money wise. 

Overall if you suffer from a long term illness you want to outweigh the benefits of taking the prescribed medicine, even if it is for the rest of your life, along with the symptoms that your illness causes you. If you find that it is a suitable solution and will make your life that bit more bearable and pain free, then why not take the advice from your doctor and follow through with their suggestion. After all they are professionals in their field. 

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