Managing Your Medications in the Summer

pill-containerSummer vacation is a time when teens can usually feel more carefree. No more homework. No more lectures. No more structure! However, if you are taking medications for your health, structure is very important.

There are many reasons why teenagers take medicine. Some teens take daily medicine to improve their mood, manage diabetes or other medical conditions. Others take medication every day for a few days or a week to get better after an illness.

As a general rule, your health care provider will suggest that you take your medicine at the same time every day. During the school year you probably had a solid routine but now that its summer your routine may be more laid back. Here are a few suggestions to help you take your medicine on time, when your routine has changed.

  • Use a pill case with the days of the week printed on it. Keep it where you will easily see it- on your nightstand, next to your toothbrush, on the kitchen counter, or another place that is out in the open rather than in a drawer or bag, where you can’t see it.
  • Set recurring reminders on your phone. Use a code word instead of “time to take your medicine” if you’re concerned about what your friends or others might say if they see your screen.
  • Plan ahead. If you’re going camping, to a friend’s house, or on vacation, make sure to bring a travel pill case with the amount of medicine that you’ll need.

If you are concerned or embarrassed about taking medicine in front of friends, here are some tips:

  • Share only what you are comfortable with. You don’t have to explain what your medication is for just because a friend asks. Some simple responses are “they help keep me healthy” or “thanks for being interested but it’s personal.”
  • Find a quiet place, like the restroom or your car, to take your medication where no one is around.

Having to take medications doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun summer! If ever you feel that managing your medications is getting too complicated, call or make an appointment with your health care provider. He/she is there to help make sure you are not only healthy but happy too.

– Lauren