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Reged: 05/25/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Long Island, NY
Having trouble staying med compliant
      #239493 - 05/25/08 09:23 PM

Why is taking meds regularly such problem for me????

Anyone out there with tips or resources (online chats, literature, etc) to help me stay more compliant with my meds? Was looking to find a Med buddy/peer" that would check in to make sure that I have taken them and just to talk to about HIV and related issues, but the area where I live is pretty sparce with available people. I basically am dealing with this with minimal input from others (partner, doctor & family).

I Have been on several regimes which have failed in the past due to numerous missed doses which meant several really bad trips to the hospital. My options are dwindling. I have the knowledge of what going off meds is like, but just can't seem to get the consistency part right - It sucks going to bed everyday taking meds and waking up only to have to take more.

My doctor has referred me to support groups, but I don't feel that they are the way for me to go - I don't do well in a group setting - This is why I was trying to find something online chat/support group or one or two people to talk to which may help ease me into a more formal group setting. Any input would be very useful - Thanks

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Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: Having trouble staying med compliant new
      #239499 - 05/26/08 02:59 AM

I've built up resistance because I'm not very good at being compliant. You're right. It's hard. I'm better than I was. But far from perfect.

I committed myself to better compliance the week my dad passed away and I had to go in for further testing for cervical cancer. I got a clean bill of health, but the time waiting for the results and with death in the forefront of my mind, helped to change how I viewed taking my meds. I wanted to stick around. It occurred to me that taking my meds was a small price to pay for that option. However that doesn't mean I don't still get an attitude about taking my meds. It's not even a love/hate relationship. I just hate 'em.

What's helped me most after I got a better attitude about the whole thing? Putting it in my mind that taking them is no big deal. Quick swallow of a few pills and the dose is done. Also, for me routine is essential.

Unfortunately, my life is far from routine. So, back up plan B is in place. If I forget my morning dose, I have spares I keep in my car, my purse, my desk. Night time is the harder time. At home I take them shortly after dinner. When we don't eat at home is when I run the highest risk of not getting them in me. I don't want to take them at a restaurant or at friends and for some reason it just seems harder to take them at night anyway, so I don't keep spares of the medication I take at night with me. I just figure I'll take them when I get home. That doesn't always happen.

I look at it this way....100% compliance is a great goal, but movement in the right direction toward that goal is better than nothing. I'm getting better, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to become 100% compliant. I see it as a quality vs quantity of life issue at times.

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Reged: 01/05/08
Posts: 49
Loc: Spain
Why? new
      #239501 - 05/26/08 06:23 AM


First, I'd ask myself why I was unable to take the pills with the regularity that I should:
Do I think they are doing any good?
Do I just hate taking any kind of pill?
Is it depressing thinking that I'll have to take those pills for THE REST OF MY LIFE?
Are there too many pills in my regimine, or do I have to take them too many times a day?
Are the pills too big and thus hard to swallow?
Do I lead a chaotic life, without routines?
Am I worried about that strange skin rash or that week with the runs or that odd ache in my lower back that I didn't have before?

Set the alarm on your mobile phone. Always have a dose in a little film canister in your bag. Go to the john to take them. If you are caught taking them, say they are vitamins. Stick the "taking of the pills" onto other routines you already have, the morning cigarette, the evening news, whatever you already do every day. Man is a creature of habit and if taking the pills has not become a habit for you despite the possiblity of becoming resistant or getting ill, then there is some "outside" reason for your lack of regularity.

I refused to take the pills until I became quite ill and ended up in hospital. About ten days into the stay there, the MD insisted that I begin the ARVs in order to help the antibiotics fight the double pneumonia that had set in. I gave in. My regimine is only two pills a day, both at the same time, both about half an hour before dinner. Maybe you can talk to your MD about a combo that makes the taking less tedious (if you're having to take several times a day or whatever....), he should listen to you, adherence IS an issue, has been discussed in the literature and is no joke.

Good luck, mate!


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Reged: 05/13/07
Posts: 435
Loc: Phila,Pa
Re: Having trouble staying med compliant new
      #239504 - 05/26/08 02:06 PM

Esmerelda,I was taught that being less than 95-100% compliant with meds is one of the leading causes of becoming resistant to that med.When you don't take it as ordered the virus will mutate into one that can get around the action of the med.Many Dr's will hold off starting patients on meds if the patient doesn't feel s/he can be compliant.
Like already suggested here,keeping spares on hand,using cell phone or other timers,taking the meds in the bathroom or some other private place and using a weekly or monthly pill box-the pill box is my best friend!

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Reged: 10/18/07
Posts: 8
Re: Having trouble staying med compliant new
      #239538 - 05/27/08 04:43 PM

what i do is set my cell phone alarm and it goes off and then i take my meds. or u can put it on vibrate and wear it on your belt with a clip.

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New User

Reged: 05/22/08
Posts: 2
Re: Having trouble staying med compliant new
      #239548 - 05/28/08 10:40 AM

Ok, you need be kinder to yourself and stop beating yourself up - the meds ARE important and they need to be taken as prescribed. You need to sort out the best way to do that and, look, you started by asking for some's all good. Alarm clocks, reminders, post-it's, knots in bits of string will be of NO VALUE whatsoever if you don't actually believe that the meds are good for you. Yes, it's a drag to take them every day and yes, its a drag, remembering to put them into your bag if you're going out or remembering that you might not want people to know what is that you're taking, but the bottom line - and there is a bottom line here - is that your health will fail, you will become ill, you will lose your ability to be in control of your own life, you will die sooner rather than later. Not pretty? No, damn right it's not pretty and that is exactly why I want to know that you'll be alive in 10, 20, 30, 40 years time. Take the meds; join a group; phone a friend; it's part of your life in the same way I wear glasses - inconvenient but I can't see without them! I can't live a quality life without my meds so I take them. Really good luck right at ya.

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Reged: 11/02/06
Posts: 131
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Having trouble staying med compliant new
      #239553 - 05/28/08 04:26 PM

Taking pills every day is a total drudge, but a drudge I personally don't have much of a choice in. Before I started HIV therapy I was already taking loads of vitamins and supplements each and every day, so I thought that a few more pills wouldn't make any difference. Thing was, when I missed some iron or lecithin or antioxidants it didn't matter much, my health didn't suffer even if I went a week without taking anything. I think the consequences of missing HIV med doses put quite an extra level of stress in my head and I've found that though I took pills/vitamins for years and years with no concern, suddenly I find it a chore and something I tend to fret over, so I can understand how someone who might not like taking pills at all would feel when suddenly faced with having to take daily doses of pills, sometimes several times per day.

I like the suggestions made that you can set your phone to ring to remind you to take your dose, if you are taking doses throughout the day then that would definitely help.

I'm on a once a day regime, 3 pills once per day. My doctor told me that they have a long half life (they remain active in your bloodstream for a long time before breaking down) and that it doesn't matter too much what time of the day I take them. Lucky, because my sleeping is all over the place and some days I get up at 3pm and forget to take them until 9pm, other days I'm up earlier, others later. But I take my dose every day, I've only ever missed one.

One thing which has also helped me as my memory isn't the best at times, is that the clinic I get my meds from gave me a weekly pill container. It's long and plastic, and has 2 little compartments for each day of the week. I can snap off the top lids, they are separate, fill all the little holes with pills then snap the top back on and each hole has it's own lid. This makes it possible for me to remember that I still haven't taken my meds that day yet as all I have to do is look at the day of the week and see if the box is full or empty, or if I do the opposite and think I haven't taken them and already have and forgot because I was still half asleep, I go to the box and see that day's holes are empty.

If you go out and don't want anyone knowing you're taking medication, put them in a vitamin bottle along with some cotton wool stuffing so they don't rattle. If anyone asks you what they are tell them they're a very strong B vitamin for hangovers and some ginseng.

I think of my HIV pills like little soldiers and try to think of them like my friends, not something I don't want in my life. They are fighting for me and I always try to see them in a positive light when I go and take them.

I'm like fake fruit...... I don't bruise that easy.

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Reged: 02/03/10
Posts: 27
Re: Having trouble staying med compliant new
      #249440 - 02/15/10 04:02 PM

You have to take ur meds i didn't like takeing my meds sometimes i still don't but i have to i have a wife and kids and by me takeing my meds i'm now undectetable because i take them everyday,don't wrong sometimes i don't want to.I planning on living a long and productive live with my wife and kids so don't let the meds get u down keep your head up.

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