10 Tips to be Medication Savvy


Whether you occasionally wake up with a headache or you’re managing a chronic condition, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications play a big role in our day-to-day health and wellness. Use the following tips to safely stay on top of your medications and make the most of your prescription drug benefits.

  1. Organize your medications in a pill box – By keeping your medications organized, it’s easy to keep track of what you’re taking and when.
  2. Set refill reminders – Use a calendar, electronic reminders, or set up auto-refill for your medications to help you keep track of when you’re due for a refill. You can also take it one step further and set up regular reminders for when to take your medications.
  3. Save money with generic drugs – Generics are tested to make sure the active ingredients are the same as the brand. You’ll get the same treatment quality at a more affordable price.
  4. Take advantage of prescription mail-order opportunities – Having your maintenance medications delivered directly to your home will save you time—and often, money.
  5. Check formularies for preferred medications – Preferred medications can be pretty spendy, but formularies can help you keep the cost in check. Share the information with your provider for an opportunity to pay lower co-pays. You can find complete drug lists and prior authorization criteria on our website at PacificSource.com/drug-list.
  6. Use caution when choosing a new over-the-counter medication – Read the drug facts label, and ask your provider or pharmacist if the medication is right—and safe—for you.
  7. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking – It’s important to provide this information every time you see your doctor. Remember to include over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
  8. Talk to your pharmacist – Your pharmacist is the expert and can answer questions you may have about side effects, drug interactions, and more.
  9. Take advantage of health services provided by your healthcare plan – Pharmacies offer flu shots and other immunizations, some of which may be covered by your plan at no cost to you.
  10. Read your explanation of benefits (EOB) – Your prescription medications are included on your EOB statements, which can help you understand your healthcare coverage and get the most value from your plan.

Reduced vs. Low Sodium – Is there a difference?

Salt_MP900400592.JPGWe recently posted a recipe on Healthier Mashed Potatoes. The recipe includes “low-sodium chicken broth.” Though, when we first created the recipe, we included “reduced-sodium chicken broth.”

Big deal, right? But the Nutrition Label Guidelines clarify these differently:

Reduced-Sodium: means the food has to have at least 25% less sodium than the standard version. A one cup serving of Swanson’s Chicken Broth has 860mg sodium, so a reduced-sodium version could have up to as much as 645 mg sodium! Not the best choice.

Low-sodium: means that the food has less than 140mg sodium per serving. So a one cup serving should be 140mg or lower – a much healthier choice!

We get tricked by this one frequently….and always have to remember to go back and look at the facts panel to see how much sodium is in a serving!

Just one more experience to pass along, enjoy!